Family was a tremendous influence on young Edwin Scotts decision to become a physician. His father is a country doctor, as was his grandfather, but it was Edwins choice entirely. His decision was one born in part from exposure to the only life he had ever known and perhaps, to some degree, from the same capacity for compassion that drew his elders to this caring profession. I dont remember a time in my life that I did not want to be a doctor, he recalls.
Edwin was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, where his father was in medical training, but the family soon returned to their roots just north of Burlington, North Carolina, where the Scott clan had lived for generations. Edwin enjoyed growing up in the countryside, which he says could be somewhat remote but provided a lifestyle he grew to appreciate. As children, he and his sister, Amy, spent a great deal of their time outdoors. Edwins interests included hunting, playing basketball and football, and enjoying the familys horses. We were isolated from our neighbors, he says, but only a few minutes; walk to just about anywhere they wanted to go, including his fathers medical office, which was next door to their home.
His father kept office hours 7 days a week until the last patient left each day, sometimes as late as 9 p.m. Even after his father had locked up for the evening, neighbors would sometimes come by the house, sick child in tow, to see the doctor. It was a hard life for them, he says of his parents, Sam and Connie. Edwins father was always on call. There were no beepers or answering services like there are today, and he was sometimes gone for days making house calls.
Another of the familys strong influences on Edwin was their history with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I always wanted to go to UNC, he says. My father and grandfather went there and so did many of my aunts, uncles and cousins. And so he did. Edwin finished his undergraduate work in 1986 and remained at UNC for medical school. When he graduated in 1990, he moved from North Carolina to Augusta to begin his residency at the Medical College of Georgia.
MCG was Edwins first choice for his residency. I liked the faculty and a close friend of mine lived in Augusta, Edwin says. Only a year later, he met his wife, Joy, a Carrollton, Georgia, native who was a nurse at MCG. In August 1992, they married at the Old Medical College. Edwin and Joy now have two daughters, Sarah and Rachel.
Variety was part of the reason Dr. Scott was drawn to family practice as a specialty. I like caring for the whole family, not just one person in the family, he explains. I also like the family practice philosophy of treating patients as people rather than just a collection of organs or diseases.
As a student, he had little interest in surgery, leaning more toward pediatrics and medicine. He also was intrigued by psychology and psychiatry, but did not realize until he became a family physician how important these areas of patient care would be to his practice. Depression in our society is epidemic, he says, because there are fewer support systems in place than there were at one time. Families are broken apart by distance and divorce and the world is a faster-paced, more stressful environment. So many physical ailments are born of misery and difficulties, Dr. Scott says. While there are varying degrees of psychological illness, some of which require the care of a psychiatrist, he believes family physicians are able to help many people suffering from anxiety, depression, and the physical difficulties they can generate.
The Scott Family onboard the Disney Magic
As much as he enjoys family medicine in general, he finds particular pleasure in his practice group, the physicians of the Center for Primary Care. Dr. Scott joined the group in 1994, as one of the first in the group. He is on the four-physician medical staff of CPC-South. We are straight-shooters, he says, with each other and with our patients. Like the other physicians in the group, he has high ethical standards and strives to do the right thing in fulfilling both his personal and professional responsibilities.
The third-generation Dr. Scott has somewhat more leisure time than did his father or grandfather, and he finds plenty of ways to enjoy it: playing with his daughters and using his home computer to play games, shop, and surf the web are among his favorites. When hes not doing that, he likes to read preferably non-fiction. Im a little too cynical to read much fiction, he confesses. I always think I can figure out whats going to happen. Once exception is the Harry Potter series of novels, which piqued his interest in the struggle between good and evil and the journey of self-discovery. Dr. Scott also enjoys history, an interest he attributes to his fathers influence. The elder Dr. Scott developed a passion for history while attending preparatory school in Virginia, the seat of American Civil War history.
Dr. Scott brings to his practice of medicine the compassion and dedication he learned first-hand from his father and grandfather, and the competence and enthusiasm of a man who is doing the work he has always wanted to do . . . and the Center for Primary Care and his patients are all the better for it.