After 47 years, Dr. John Patton leaves McCreary County
By Eugenia Jones
Long-time McCreary County physician, Dr. John Patton, will soon be leaving his McCreary County practice for North Carolina where he intends to enjoy lots of time with his two grandchildren and playing some rounds of golf in North Carolina. Patton plans to continue his career in North Carolina on a limited basis.
Dr. Patton, whose mother was a McCreary County native, will celebrate forty-seven years as a physician in August. Patton, who graduated from McCreary County High School, completed eight years of undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Louisville before moving on to Hawaii to complete his residency. It was in Hawaii that Dr. Patton met his California native wife, Deborah. The couple have now been married for forty-seven years and have two children, Amelia and Brian.
Just five months after the couple married, they moved to McCreary County to “take care of the people of McCreary County.”
“I don’t know why I chose medicine as a career,” Dr. Patton reflected. “It was just what I always thought I wanted to do. Maybe it has something to do with remembering how I always went to Dr. Winchester’s office when he took care of me as a child.”
Throughout his career, Dr. Patton has seen many changes and advancements in medicine.
“The biggest changes have been through technology,” Patton noted. “Today, so much of a medical practice is done with machinery-CT scans, MRIs, and the like.”
For Dr. Patton, being a physician in a small community comes with the good and the bad.
“Basically, the good and the bad are both the same,” Dr. Patton said with a laugh. “Everybody knows you! It took my wife some time to adjust to that!”
For Dr. Patton, practicing medicine locally has been rewarding as he feels a sense of satisfaction from improving the health of McCreary Countians. However, there is also a sense of frustration-particularly after the onset of COVID-19.
“There is some frustration because patients won’t always do what you ask,” Dr. Patton said. “Patients can be resistant to things like vaccines or they may be reluctant to make dietary or other health changes. We lost several McCreary Countians who were resistant to taking vaccines.”
Dr. Patton’s face clearly shows his fondness for his patients and staff.
“I have a wonderful staff who are like family,” Dr. Patton commented. “They, along with my patients, will definitely be missed.”