12/05/17 — Local M.D. named Physician of the Year

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Local M.D. named Physician of the Year

By Steve Herring
Published in News on December 5, 2017 5:50 AM

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Dr. Kevin Talton, left, accepts the Family Physician of the Year award from Dr. Charles W. Rhodes, president of the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians.

Dr. Kevin Talton was honored Friday as Family Physician of the Year by the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians at its winter conference in Asheville.

Talton, 46, is medical director at Mount Olive Family Medicine Center.

"I was definitely honored to receive the award from the academy," he said. "I am very honored. I have just had a lot of great opportunities here at Mount Olive Family Medicine Center."

However, Talton said it is the support of his family, the practice, patients and community that has made it possible for him to be involved in so many different things that he was recognized for with this award.

A Mount Olive native, Talton grew up literally a block away from his office.

"I didn't initially go to college looking at pursuing medicine," he said. "I started off in the engineering program at North Carolina State. After about a semester of that I realized that really wasn't my interest, and I dabbled a little bit in accounting.

"About that spring semester of my freshman year I understood the Mount Olive Volunteer Rescue Squad was asking for volunteers so I took the EMT course in Raleigh while I was in school at State. I became a certified EMT and started riding rescue in the summers when I was home from college."

Talton said that was probably his first inkling that he had an interest in going into medicine and becoming a physician.

"I remember riding rescue, and back then there wasn't paramedic level so at times we would have to call the physicians out to the scene, and it just impressed me that all of the physicians in town ... at any time you could count on them to come to the scene," he said.

"Seeing that and seeing all that they did for the community, it kind of drove me to pursue medicine."

He graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in zoology and received his medical degree from East Carolina University School of Medicine in 1997.

He completed his residency in a joint program involving Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville and Sampson Regional Medical Center in Clinton in 2000.

Talton, who is board certified in family medicine, started his practice at Mount Olive Family Medicine Center in July 2000.

"I knew that I was going to come back to Mount Olive and at that time the community raised some money to help offset the cost of medical school," Talton said. "They would help pay for your medical school if you agreed to come back for a year or so.

"I knew this was where I was coming back, and I knew that family medicine was the type of medicine that I want to practice in the community -- I think it was the breadth of experience you had with family as far as being able to take care of the very young to the very old and the relationship nature of that field of medicine."

Talton said Mount Olive had so many examples of family who were the folks he looked up to in the field of medicine.

It was because all of those factors he chose family medicine, Talton said.

Family Medicine Center took a chance and hired him, he said.

Talton began working at the practice in July 2000 and has served as medical director for 16 years.

Talton said that during that time he has been able to participate in many different opportunities -- again because of his family, the practice and his partners.

He has practiced hospital medicine, been a medical examiner for the state and early in his career was on the rescue squad.

He was elected a fellow with the American Academy of Family Physicians in 2007.

Talon joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves in 2005 and is currently a lt. colonel and flight surgeon. He just took over a command for the medical squadron for the 916th Air Medicine Squadron.

He has deployed several times, something that he calls a "great experience."

Mount Olive is unique in having such a facility like Mount Olive Family Medicine Center, he said.

"Mount Olive is very fortunate to have a facility like this here," he said. "I think that all goes back to Mount Olive having been blessed with such good physicians over the years, and they have kind of set this bar, this standard. I feel like what we are doing right now is continuing that level of care that was started many years ago."