Two graduates of Grayson County High School’s class of 2001 have returned to work in Grayson County’s medical field.
Ryan Duvall, MD, had his first full day of work at his family medical practice at Big Clifty Medical Complex on February 5, 2013. Wendee Embry, PA-C, joined the staff of Leitchfield Pediatric Clinic as a Physician’s Assistant in late 2012.
Duvall said he was gifted in math and science when in school, and he felt medicine was the logical next step. “I believe if you have the ability, you have the responsibility,” he said.
Yet, Duvall said he was primarily inspired to enter the medical field by Dr. Joseph Lee, MD. “I saw how respected he was by my parents and the people he cares for and how much good he does for his community. I wanted to be able to do that, too.”
Duvall studied at the University of Louisville and completed his residency at St. Mary’s Family Medicine in Grand Junction, Colorado. Of the experience, Duvall said, “College was great. It was nice to be in a larger city and to experience such diversity, and I think as much as you go to college to study, you also go to find yourself.”
Duvall said he enjoyed the experience of being on his own, but after a decade of medical training, he felt it was time to return home.
“I came back for my family,” Duvall said. “I’d been gone for ten years, and during that time I’d missed the maturation of my siblings. I knew that if I were going to have a relationship with them, I’d have to come back. Also, when I was 1600 miles away in Colorado, I didn’t have my family as a support group.”
Duvall said being back in the county and near his family has been great thus far. “The only downside is that if I do anything that someone doesn’t like, they can report it back to my mom,” he said.
Embry, who grew up in Caneyville, initially earned a degree in psychology and became a therapist before deciding to return to school. “I always knew I wanted to help people,” she said. “But I decided I wanted to do something more than therapy.”
Embry said she then decided to go back to school, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Eastern Kentucky University. “College was fun,” she said. “Whenever I see high school students, I try to encourage them to go.”
Embry said she initially returned to Grayson County as part of her school and training, “but seeing the need in the community and the wonderful pediatric clinic made me want to work here.”
Embry said working in the County in which she grew up has been a good experience so far. “Everyone in the staff has been very helpful and welcoming, and they all have tried to be mentors to me and teach me new things. I’m happy.”
Bill Oldham, Director of Planning and Marketing at Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center, said he is excited to welcome the two back to Grayson County.
“We’re constantly looking for physicians who are interested in coming to this area,” Oldham said. “They know this community, and they want to come back to their home town. We’re always very excited to get people [to work for us] who want to come back to Grayson County.”
New hospital CEO Wayne Meriwhether agreed with Oldham. “Anytime you can bring hometown folks back to the community, it’s wonderful,” he said. “I’ve found that the physicians who are most successful are those who are coming back home. They know the community and the people, and they want to help and make a difference.”
To celebrate Duvall and Embry, a reception was held in the lobby of the TLRMC on Tuesday, during which the two had an opportunity to meet and mingle with members of their family, community, and hospital staff.