Dr. Ross Jones is a graduate of Marshall County High School. He studied at Murray State University and completed Medical School and a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Louisville. He finished up his medical training with a fellowship in Charlotte, NC, at Carolinas Medical Center specializing in Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Interventional Endoscopy. Today, he practices at Lourdes and Mercy Gastroenterology in Paducah. He lives in Paducah with his wife, Anne-Marie, and their two kids, ages six and two.
What inspired you to become a doctor?
I can’t narrow it down to one event or influence. Becoming a doctor was a lingering idea for as long as I can remember. Like many people, my first memory of the medical profession was interacting with my pediatrician, Dr. Clegg Austin. His demeanor, personality, and interactions stuck with me and kept me intrigued during each visit. My interest in healthcare grew during high school and college through a series of Health Careers classes offered at Marshall County High School, and during my time working as an orderly in the Emergency Room at Murray-Calloway County Hospital through college. Though medical training moved me around for a decade of my life, it was always my plan to come back to Western Kentucky and practice medicine.
What is your favorite part of your job?
In my specialty of gastroenterology, I see patients in a wide range of scenarios ranging from routine follow-up office visits to invasive procedures. My patients range from healthy patients getting their routine screening tests all the way to the very sick patients dealing with life-altering and difficult-to-treat diagnoses. I try to embrace the opportunity to be there for each of my patients through each of their different circumstances and guide them through the good and the bad times.
Do you have a favorite story about helping a patient that comes to mind?
Sometimes in healthcare, you don’t realize the real impact you can make on someone’s life. A story that sticks out in my mind is when a former patient approached my wife and me at a local restaurant. They talked to us about how thankful they were for the care I had given to his wife. Although I knew her healthcare situation well, I would have described my contribution as very small. I was seeing her as a second opinion for a difficult-to-treat cancer. I simply offered her a few new insights and arranged the appropriate follow-up for her care. In the grand scheme of things, I felt my contribution was not very significant, but to this couple, it was. They were more than grateful and continue to see me for updates with her care. Fortunately, she has done much better than one would have expected a few years ago. In a time when the perks of working in healthcare are often hard to find, their open appreciation for my simple second opinion and helping them progress through a difficult time reminds me why being a doctor is still a great profession.
How do you see the medical community helping Paducah and its residents?
Due to Paducah’s location, size, and surroundings, medical professionals in Paducah are in a unique position to help the people in our area. Our patient population draws from multiple states and long distances, with some patients driving over an hour to come to our local hospitals. Because of this population draw and our distance from other more metropolitan areas, Paducah is fortunate to have so many different specialists available here, which is not typical of a community this size. Our large medical community can truly strengthen and enhance the lives of the people in our multi-county service area.