Mammoth Spring native to practice at Salem 1st Care

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Chris Cochran, MD, will soon begin seeing patients at Salem 1st Care, 172 Highway 62 East, Suite 1 in Salem. Cochran is an internal medicine physician.

A native of northern Arkansas, Cochran said he is looking forward to treating the residents of the area. "My family is here," he explained. "I was raised here and feel at home. After completing my education, I realized that this area made me who I am. Coming back here just seemed to fit."

Cochran's approach to patient care involves treating every patient as if they are members of his own family. "I try to treat every patient who walks through the door as if they are my mother, father, sister my family is extremely important to me," he said. "If I were to treat a patient any other way, I would be compromising their care somehow."

His personal investment in the care of his patients drives Cochran to make a strong commitment. He said he decided in medical school to never ignore a patient in pain or their family. "I may run a little late because I stay an extra few minutes in an exam room with a patient who needs me," he explained. "What all of my patients can count on is that the same courtesy will be given to them if they need a little extra time. I may have 30 appointments in one day but each patient only gets one opportunity to see me. It's important that I apply good patient care during every visit."

As an internal medicine physician, Cochran is specially trained in taking care of patients who range in age from adolescent to adult. "I am trained in the care of 'sicker' adults," he said. "I can treat heart failure, diabetes, hypertension and many other diseases. My focus is more on preventive medicine and screenings such as mammograms, colon screenings, etc., to stop the progression of a disease before it becomes serious."

Due to the nature of the illnesses they are trained to treat, internal medicine physicians are skilled in hospital patient care. Internists often see patients with more complicated illnesses that may require hospitalization. According to Cochran, this results in being able to follow patients through office visits and hospital stays, and provides more continuity of care.

The internist also is skilled in utilizing tests during the diagnosis process to arrive at the most accurate conclusion. "I am able to detect more problems and potential problems because I use diagnostic tests to investigate a patient's complaint a little further," he explained. "That's the art of internal medicine. Our knowledge of a variety of diseases helps ensure that we make the most accurate diagnosis."

This knowledge of diseases also provides Cochran with an opportunity to educate his patients. "I enjoy helping patients understand what's wrong with them," he said. "It's those extra five minutes I might spend educating a patient that helps them better understand their condition."

Cochran graduated cum laude with a bachelor's in biology from Lyon College in Batesville in 1994. He earned his medical degree from the University of Arkansas College of Medicine at Little Rock in 1998. During 2001, he performed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Missouri Kansas City College of Medicine in Kansas City, Mo.

"I consider myself to be a part of the new generation of doctors," he explained. "Being a physician is very important, but not entirely my life. There are two women in my life, my wife and my daughter, who mean everything to me. They are why I do what I do."

Cochran spends much of his time with his wife, Niki, and their 21-month-old daughter, Grace. They reside in Mammoth Spring. His hobbies include hunting, fishing and gardening.

Cochran will eventually begin practicing in West Plains, Mo., as well as in Salem in order be closer to the patients he treats at Ozarks Medical Center.

To schedule an appointment with Cochran, call Salem 1st Care at 895-1911. Salem 1st Care is an affiliate of Ozarks Medical Center of West Plains.

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