Member of the Month: Joey Koch, M.D.
New physician returns to hometown to practice
Hearing stories about his local physician grandfather sparked an interest in medicine at a young age for Joey Koch, M.D. His late grandfather’s legacy and watching the local family physicians at work steered him toward family medicine. He ventured to College Station, San Antonio, and Waco for his education, but returned to his hometown of Lufkin to begin his practice. After working within the Scott and White system for a year, Koch and his psychiatrist wife Rebekah began their own private practice at the Tall Pines Family Clinic.
Why did you choose family medicine, and what’s your favorite aspect of it?
I chose family medicine because of the scope of practice and the relationships with my patients. I wanted to return to my hometown and help care for the people I grew up with.
How would you define the mission of your practice?
I’d say my mission is to provide comprehensive, cost-effective care while being timely, up to date, and communicating well with my patients. I strive to provide the correct care at the correct time while educating patients on why I'm doing the things I do.
What word or phrase characterizes your style of family medicine?
Practical and realistic
What is the most interesting/memorable experience you have had when dealing with a patient?
Experiencing my first patient on hospice care dying with grace and dignity. So many patients experience unnecessary suffering at the end stage of a disease and I was in awe of this man’s poise.
What one change would you make to the world of health care as it is today?
I would find a way to encourage people to make the right choices in regards to their lifestyles and behavior. So much disease burden could be wiped away if our society fully engaged in their health. Disease is a natural part of life and we’ll never stop the inevitable end, but the way we live before that end is something we can control.
What is something the “real world” has taught you about being a family physician that medical school didn’t teach you?
That no matter how we provide health care in this country, it must be run efficiently and with as little waste and duplication as possible. This involves a much greater commitment by our patients to their own health care.
What is the most important quality a family physician should have?
The ability to listen and to communicate in non-medical terminology.
How do you spend your free time?
I love anything outdoors and being with my growing family.
If you weren’t a doctor what would you be doing with your career?
I would likely be involved in something to do with wildlife or forestry.
TAFP’s Member of the Month program highlights Texas family physicians in TAFP News Now and on the TAFP website. We feature a biography and a Q&A with a different TAFP member each month and his or her unique approach to family medicine. If you know an outstanding family physician colleague who you think should be featured as a Member of the Month or if you’d like to tell your own story, nominate yourself or your colleague by contacting TAFP by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (512) 329-8666. View past Members of the Month here.