Doctor took slow route to med school
A journey of discovery led new St. Luke Hospital and Clinic physician Jeremy Bigham to become a doctor.
Growing up in Antioch, California, his father and other family members had health problems, which led him to take an interest in health care.
After school, he moved to Florida and worked to become an emergency medical technician and firefighter.
“I really enjoyed the EMT part and wanted to go into that,” Bigham said.
Eventually he completed training as a paramedic.
While living in Fort Meyers, Florida, he met his wife, Pamela. Pamela’s father was a physician and let Bigham come to his office frequently.
After Pamela joined the Air Force, she was assigned to four years’ duty in Germany. They married and spent the first years of their marriage overseas. While in Germany, Bigham trained, and worked, in flight medicine.
After the couple returned to the United States, Bigham enrolled in osteopathic medicine school, got a military health professions scholarship, and became a commissioned officer.
He did his residency in family medicine at Orlando, Florida, finishing in 2016. He works in a clinic on McConnell Air Force Base.
The Bighams, who have three children, were pleasantly surprised by Kansas.
“We really liked it here,” Bigham said.
Caring for patients of all age groups drew him to specialize in family medicine, he said.
Bigham’s term with the Air Force ends in August and he will begin seeing patients at St. Luke Hospital and clinic in September.
He found out St. Luke needed a physician when he mentioned at his church that he wanted to find a position in Kansas. One of his church members is a cousin to hospital CEO Jeremy Ensey and his wife, Tammy.
“When I came up to visit, everybody was so friendly, and I was impressed that the hospital has so many resources,” Bigham said. “I brought my family back and they just liked it. It seems like a good place.”
Bigham said he also was glad to connect with Marion pilots who shared his interest in aviation, including local physician Don Hodson.
“I can do aviation medical exams,” he said.
Bigham might switch from active duty status to reserve when his Air Force term expires.
Bigham is fluent in Spanish and German, and enjoys fishing and travel with his family.
For now, he plans to commute from the Wichita area where the couple owns a house and the children are enrolled in school.