Many physicians will tell you that the most challenging part of their job is education: teaching their patients as well as the families of their patients, while keeping up with their own schooling in an ever-changing field. Dr. David Jester, however, has mastered the arts of both learning and teaching and applied his varied experiences in the medical field to become a successful part of family medicine in Augusta as well as the newest member of the CPC family.
Born in High Point, North Carolina, as the youngest of three boys, David spent most of his youth in Greenville, N.C., where athletics became his main focus early on. He played every available sport but developed a special love for soccer and baseball. Toward the end of high school, David was recruited to play soccer at East Carolina University in Greenville. Despite his success as a college athlete, David knew he did not want to make a career of soccer. Having broken many bones playing soccer and other sports, however, David met sports medicine doctors and orthopedic surgeons along the way and became well-acquainted with their work. With this close-up exposure to the world of medicine, David entered college knowing that medicine was the right direction for him.
David graduated from East Carolina in 1988 with a bachelors degree in biology. While remaining very science-focused, David was also intrigued by American history, in which he nearly completed a minor. He always thought if medical school turned out not to be right for him, teaching would be an equally viable option. His college experience, however, guided him toward medicine. During his undergraduate years, he had become acquainted with the medical school faculty and, believing the schools small classes and personal touch were a perfect fit for him, stayed in Greenville to continue his education at East Carolinas School of Medicine, now the Brody School of Medicine. Despite the rigors of the first two years of medical school,
Davids clinical experiences proved an important motivation in the pursuit of his medical goals. “Having the chance to interact with people in such an important way definitely indicated to me that medicine was what I was meant to do with my life,” he says. Spending his last two years of school in a pathology research laboratory further emphasized what an important part human interaction played in his interest in medicine. Torn between obstetrics, surgery, and family medicine as a specialty, Dr. Jester decided to combine womens and childrens health and procedural skills in family medicine.
Medical school changed David in many ways, not the least of which was meeting and marrying the love of his life, Kim. “I met her on the first day of class,” he recounts. “I leaned over to my friend and said Im going out with her this weekend, and he bet that I wouldnt. I won.” They were married in their third year of school and decided to do their residencies in the same city, he in family medicine and she in pediatrics. Both found their respective programs at MCG to be ideal, and from that point on, Augusta was home for the Jesters.
At MCG, Dr. Jester quickly rose through the ranks to become a faculty member. After participating in the Faculty Development Fellowship, he was able to take on greater responsibility in the curriculum and education of medical students. He later assumed leadership roles in clerkship and residency programs, taught first- and second-year medical students, and eventually became an associate professor. “Teaching makes you learn a lot and it makes you stay current on things – its a lot of fun. Seeing students learn how to be a doctor and apply their skills is a really rewarding experience,” Dr. Jester says of his time at MCG. He applied his own experiences practicing medicine to his lessons, teaching his students to “treat the patient as a person, not a disease” and to “keep on learning,” two fundamental principles that define him as a physician. As one of the few professors who continued a busy clinical practice while teaching, Dr. Jester earned the respect of both students and teachers in the MCG community.
After years of sharing his knowledge and experience with student physicians at the medical school, Dr. Jester decided to refocus solely on patients. “What makes me happy is seeing and taking care of my patients,” he says. This realization drove his decision to enter private practice. Having worked as a resident with some of CPCs physicians and even having taught some at MCG, the Center for Primary Care was a clear choice for Dr. Jester. Another factor influencing his choice was CPCs dedication to patient care. “You can tell they are a group of physicians who really just want to take care of their patients,” he explains.
Having settled into his practice at CPC-North Augusta, Dr. Jester now finds himself back in a place he knows and loves – that of a full-time clinician. From the patient-care perspective, he enjoys womens health and pediatrics and working with patients in disease prevention. On the technical side, Dr. Jester is also interested in the use of computers in the medical setting to improve patient care.
Despite his busy professional schedule, Dr. Jester focuses just as much energy and enthusiasm on the home front with Kim and their three daughters: Ellie, age 10, Nettie, age 8, and Lillie, age 5. All three, like their father, are interested in sports, particularly soccer. Dr. Jester still plays soccer when possible and has taken up golf but still finds time for his love of American history. He enjoys reading historical novels as well as non-fiction books and often exchanges favorite picks with his brother, Jay, a history teacher and administrator at J. H. Rose High School in Greenville.
Dr. David Jester is not only an accomplished teacher but also still the eager student. Through his many interests and experiences, he has developed considerable skill in both teaching and listening, two assets that make him a valuable and welcomed addition to the CPC family.
Dr. Jester is now accepting new patients at CPC-North Augusta. To make an appointment, call the office at 279-6800.