Troy Phillips to start work Aug. 1 at clinic |

Troy Phillips to start work Aug. 1 at clinic

Nicole Inglis

— Dr. Troy Phillips subscribed to the Craig Daily Press a year before he moved to town. He didn’t even receive the newspaper in his own town of Waco, Texas, where he was finishing his residency.

“We were just so excited to move here,” he said. “We wanted to get to know the community, its people and all of its drama before we got here.”

Phillips, the new family doctor at Moffat Family Clinic, moved to Craig on July 4 and will begin work Aug. 1.

In April 2007, Phillips and his wife, his senior prom date, Molly, traveled to Craig to interview for what will be his first job out of medical school.

“We just fell in love with the place,” he said. “The other doctors were just fantastic, and we decided it was a great town to raise our kids in.”

He said he felt as if he would be able to practice the kind of medicine he wanted, which, to him, means a little bit of everything.

Phillips has done some training in obstetrics and will share ob-gyn call with several other doctors, as well as assist in Caesarean-section operations.

He also hopes to dabble in emergency medicine and colonoscopies.

But, he really looks forward to being able to manage his own patients.

“In big cities, family doctors usually just work in a clinic all the time,” he said. “But I want to be able to deliver a baby, and also be able to treat that woman’s grandmother.”

Phillips grew up in Amarillo, Texas, and attended Texas A&M and West Texas A&M universities.

But he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be a doctor.

“At first, I wanted to be an engineer,” he said. “Then, I wanted to go into agriculture – the meat industry maybe – but then I got my EMT and started working with the volunteer fire department. I found it challenging, and I liked working with people. I looked at the other doctors and thought, ‘That is something I could do.'”

Although the schooling process was longer and harder than he envisioned, he found himself at an internship in Waco, looking toward the next chapter in his life.

Thus, the Phillips family left the 105-degree weather in Waco and arrived in Craig.

That evening, the couple and their two boys, Avery, 3, and Cole, 1, curled up under blankets at Moffat County High School to watch the town fireworks display.

“I never thought I’d be snuggled under a blanket – almost cold, even – with my family in the middle of summer,” he said. “We’ve always loved Colorado and we’ve always wanted to move somewhere more northern and pretty. Hopefully this will be it. We’re planning on staying for a while. This isn’t just a stepping stone to something else.”

When looking for a job, he contacted the Colorado Health Foundation, which matches doctors with communities with a high need or demand for physicians.

“I think a lot of doctors don’t want to come to a small town,” he said. “It probably takes more flexibility and diverse training. Also, the income can be a barrier. But, we were kind of the opposite: we didn’t want to live in a big city. We wanted to see the stars at night.”

The idea of a new hospital facility, which is under construction, was attractive to him as well, but he said he would have come to Craig even if the new building didn’t exist.

“One of the things that drew me to family medicine was the relationship to the patients and families in the community,” he said. “I think that relationship is just as important as the medicine aspect. No one’s going to come to you or trust you if you don’t seem like you care.”

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