Why did you become a physician?
I became a physician, because I wanted to assist in making health care more available to those in need. I grew up in a small community with limited access to care. Health maintenance was receiving immunizations at the local health department. There were only two providers in town, and they were fee for service. It wasn’t until I was in high school that our community had a hospital- based clinic with labs and x-ray capability. It was primarily a farming community. You only went to the doctor if you were sick. I went back to practice in my hometown after completion of residency in an outpatient practice with inpatient rotation and obstetrics care. Taking care of all ages. I was on scholarship from the National Health Corps.
I have watched many family members succumb to various illness be it cardiovascular, cancers, addiction, consequences of diverticular disease, or overwhelming joint diseases. I have also witnessed the barriers to getting the care needed during these trying times.
My goal was to emphasize the importance of disease prevention while empowering individuals to be involved in their healthcare. I wanted to play a role in educating the public on how to best make choices about their healthcare. I have spoken to women’s clubs in my hometown and then as a part of a group at EKU in Richmond as a resident in the community. I discussed the importance of screenings and health maintenance. Discussed risk factors for various reproductive cancers, as well as for colon cancer and osteoporosis. I have in the last few years spoke out about the prevalence of fatty liver and its increasing comorbidities at Family Practice Review Session for the University of Kentucky.
It is my love of education of my patients and others that led me to work at the University of Kentucky with more involvement in the instruction of medical students and residents. I always strive to make conditions understandable to my patients. I have a curiosity about the human body and look at diagnosing problems from a systemic perspective. I find many factors interplay in managing a disease or condition.
Tell us about your educational & professional background.
I attended Morehead State University as the first in my immediate family to attend college and only the second in my entire family at that time to go to college. I chose to go to University of Louisville for medical school because of the group- based learning in anatomy and histology labs. Also, we were divided into study labs of approximately 25, where it was encouraged to study as a group as well as in solitude. You were paired with an upper classman to assist you with learning tips and to go to with concerns.
After Medical school I was accepted into a rural training track as part of the University of Kentucky in Corbin Kentucky where family physicians were not only delivering babies, but they were also performing obstetrical ultrasounds and cesarean sections. Sigmoidoscopies were being performed in the office. You were also paired with physicians that were team physicians for the two local colleges Union and Cumberland College. You were the only residents in the hospital and specialist in the hospital spoke to you one on one. It was learning experience like no other. There was also a strong spiritual basis in caring for patients.
What are your interests outside of medicine?
While my time is quite consumed with my career, any outside time is spent with my spouse of 16 years and 13-year-old daughter. As a family we enjoy hiking the various local trails in Central Kentucky and leisure cycling as well. Spending time with extended family is always a priority as well. Game nights at our home or as part of our church is something we delight in. Occasional 4 wheeling in the rolling hills of my family’s hometown is always a treat as well.
Why did you join the Lexington Medical Society?
I joined the Lexington Medical Society to become a better leader. I hoped I could allow me to have a better understanding of medical community of Lexington and how I might once again become more involved in outreach to those in need and educating the public. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and meet other practitioners in the community and learn from their experiences and knowledge.