Dr. Aaron Porter, First Graduate Of Family
Medicine Residency Program, Starts Practice In Norton
Whether Dr. Aaron Porter is called a trailblazer or simply
recognized as the newest family medicine physician with Wellmont
Medical Associates, he is making a positive difference in health
care in Southwest Virginia.
Dr. Porter has begun his practice, treating patients of all
ages with varied health needs, at 405 Wharton Lane. The start of his practice
is a milestone because he is the first graduate of the family medicine
residency program established by Wellmont
Health System and the Lincoln
Memorial University DeBusk
College of Osteopathic Medicine.
This partnership is enhancing primary care in Southwest
Virginia by increasing the pool of physicians in the region. There are now 19
residents enrolled in the residency program.
The program’s goal is to encourage these physicians to stay
in the region when they complete their residency. This supplements the
high-quality physicians who have served with distinction in Southwest Virginia
for years. And when physicians choose to retire, Wellmont and LMU-DCOM are
ensuring a seamless transition to a new generation of healthcare providers.
“I feel honored to have been a part of this innovative
program and look forward to working with the residents who will follow me into
practice,” Dr. Porter said. “I’m just proud to have played a role in building
the framework of this outstanding program. It’s something that I’ll carry with
me for the rest of my life.”
Dr. Porter said he is well prepared to begin his own
practice due to assistance he received from Dr. Maurice Nida, Wellmont’s
director of medical education; Dr. Thomas Roatsey, program director; and the
other expert practicing physicians in Southwest Virginia.
“We’re grateful Dr. Porter has begun his practice with
Wellmont Medical Associates,” Dr. Nida said. “He has grown considerably as a
physician and as a person during his time with us, and his patients will
benefit greatly from the excellent skills he has developed. We have waited a
long time for this moment to arrive and are ecstatic this program is achieving
Dr. Porter said he chose to stay with Wellmont because of
the family atmosphere he noticed during his residency. He also liked the region
because of its similarity to North Central West Virginia, where he was raised.
Dr. Porter is the latest physician to join Wellmont Medical
Associates, the growing umbrella organization for Wellmont’s integrated
physicians. Created earlier this year, Wellmont Medical Associates is a
physician-led, professionally managed organization that better enables
physicians to set the direction for patient care.
As he reflected on his medical career, Dr. Porter said he
was not one of those people who knew early on what he wanted to do for a
living. Rather, he attributes his career choice to God.
“I think God puts people on a certain path,” Dr. Porter
said. “I think this is my path – what I was meant to do. I was meant to help
patients and help people, so I’m doing that in the best way I know how and the
way I was trained.”
Dr. Porter said it is important for a physician to talk with
his or her patients and let them know he is available for them. He also said
physicians can help their patients by ensuring those receiving care are taking
proper medications and eating the right foods to produce optimal health.
He said he tries to create an environment for dialogue with
his patients by asking the right questions that elicit information he needs
from the patient. Dr. Porter encourages patients to share as much as possible
about their lives and their conditions so he can best help them.
While his practice will treat a broad spectrum of illnesses,
Dr. Porter said he is a strong advocate for the control of blood sugar and
blood pressure. His preferred method of care is to prevent these conditions
from developing in the first place, but if that is not possible, he would like
to treat them first with dietary changes and lifestyle modification.
“Those are probably two of the biggest conditions we’re
passionate about treating, because they can cause so many other problems with a
patient down the road if they are not adequately controlled,” Dr. Porter said.
Greg Neal, president of Wellmont’s community hospital
division, which includes the health system’s facilities in Southwest Virginia,
said this is an exciting time for the region.
“We have long been focused on ensuring we have a healthcare
system that best serves the needs of our valued patients in Southwest
Virginia,” Neal said. “The residency program fits that philosophy nicely
because it is adding a new group of physicians who will continue our legacy of
high-quality care, delivered with compassion. We’re fortunate someone of the
caliber of Dr. Porter will facilitate a new era of wellness in our region.”
Dr. Porter has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in
biology from Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. He graduated from Pikeville
College School of Osteopathic Medicine in Kentucky and is a member of the
American Osteopathic Association and the American College of Osteopathic Family
When he is not treating patients, Dr. Porter enjoys personal
pursuits such as running, fishing and reading.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Porter, please call
276-679-0321. For more information, please visit www.wellmont.org.