Thursday , April 20, 2017 - 11:03 AM
OGDEN — Greg Gochnour decided early on he wanted to focus on helping people who often have little hope.
“I spent a year in Nigeria during college,” he said. “The people there had minimal resources, and I saw a lot of the tragedies of life that we don't see as prominent problems here in America. I had people I knew one day who were dead a week later from meningitis. Death over there is a real living entity. Seeing and living among that makes you realize there's an opportunity to impact people's lives.”
The Ogden doctor was recently named the Utah Family Medicine Physician of the Year by the Utah Academy of Family Physicians.
The award recognizes a physician who provides his or her patients with compassionate and comprehensive family medicine on a continuing basis while directly and effectively being involved in community affairs and activities that have a positive impact.
Gochnour has been a physician in Utah for 21 years and is currently a physician at the Porter Family Practice at McKay-Dee Hospital. He is also program director of the hospital's Family Medicine Residency Program.
In addition, he serves as medical director for Weber-Morgan Health Department’s tuberculosis and immigration clinics, volunteers at Seager Clinic in Ogden and helps at the Snowbasin Ski Resort clinic. He has also been part of a medical team that cares for high school and Ogden Raptors athletes.
Before entering medical school, Gochnour not only helped people in Nigeria but also worked as a surgical orderly at LDS Hospital. The two experiences together, he said, solidified his interest in medicine.
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“I have patients from every walk of life. Some have insurance and others don't,” he said. “I have a real passion for serving the under-served, and it's very important to me to be able to treat anyone regardless of their circumstances.”
At Porter Family Practice, Gochnour treats people of all ages. Every day is different, he said, which is what makes his profession so satisfying.
“I see people from the cradle to the grave,” he said. “Just today, I delivered two babies. As I was walking back to the clinic, I got a phone call that a sweet 96-year-old patient of mine had passed away. That kind of sums up my job — treating newborns all the way to the elderly who have lived rich full lives.”
“He is always willing to seek out extra training that allows us to see and treat patients locally,” Adams said. “Without him, our TB patients would have to schedule a time when they and one of our nurses could travel to Salt Lake City. Now they can come here to see him.”
More recently, Gochnour became a designated U.S. Civil Surgeon, so the health department can offer two-part physical exams to every person who is seeking U.S. Citizenship.
“In times of an outbreak, he’s the one we work through to get people the medication they need quickly,” Adams said.
Porter colleague Anne Hutchinson said Gochnour is a great example of the value of family medicine and demonstrates the clinic's mission every day.
“I think it's an honor for him as well as the community of Ogden,” she said. “The field of potential awardees are all family physicians in Utah ... He was chosen out of all of the family physicians across the state, and he is very deserving of that honor.”
Gochnour and his wife Caitlin have twin boys and a daughter. They also have a dog named Guapo. During his free time, he likes to hike, ski, run and bike.
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