Raised in Rappahannock, Andrew Kohler, M.D., is making the county proud as he continues upon his own journey to becoming a doctor.
Dr. Kohler graduated from the University of Mary Washington and attended medical school at Ochsner Clinical in New Orleans. He studied at the University of Queensland during his first two years in medical school through Ochsner’s partnership program with the Brisbane, Australia university, and during his last two years of education he did clinical work in New Orleans hospitals.
Dr. Kohler, son of Rick and Kaye Kohler of Amissville, attributes his passion for medicine to “personal drives and family experiences,” his desire to “help give people a better life,” and his interest in doing research that will “add bricks to our understanding as a civilization.”
Dr. Kohler began his residency July 1 in Roanoke, where he is on the night shift from 7:30 p.m. to 9 a.m. for his first month of work. “It’s a blast,” he says, explaining how Roanoke’s Carilion Clinic could become a major player as health care moves toward a select number of hospital systems.
As Dr. Kohler looks beyond residency, he says, “The plan is to go into nanomedicine and research specific brain nuclei… and the brain-gut connection.”
Beyond this research, he also aims to join the Army after his three-year residency. He believes it will be an experience that will allow him to give back to his country and community. In addition, he hopes to do aid work in other regions of the globe when able, having already provided extensive medical assistance in India.
Even as all these windows of opportunity are beginning to open, Dr. Kohler reassures that he will never forget Rappahannock or the community of people and friends it gave him.
“Perhaps like all small towns, it often takes moving away before you realize how special it is. I’m very fortunate to be tied to that world,” Dr. Kohler says, even while noting that Rappahannock will need to keep up with “the rapid progression of health care” in which medical resources and access will be in high demand. “I would be proud to work with the doctors already established in the Rappahannock community.”
Part one of a three-part series in partnership with Foothills Forum
Part 2 (August 3): How long can an older community rely on aging volunteers to handle its emergencies?
Part 3 (August 17): A community takes on its health care challenges. Plus, a peek into the future.