Dr. Joel Link believed he was at the end of a fulfilling career. Following several decades as a successful Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT), he was ready for the retired life. He and his wife purchased a beautiful home in picturesque Chattanooga, TN, and settled in for the peace and contentment they had planned for their entire lives.
It only took about two months for him to realize he wasn’t cut out for retirement. “I got bored fast and I wanted to be doing more. And my wife was ready to get me out of the house.”
So, the wheels started turning, and Dr. Link began searching online and speaking with recruiters around the country about the possibility of beginning a new chapter in his life. That’s when he learned about Jefferson Regional in Pine Bluff. “I came down here to interview, and I found the administration, and all those I talked with, to be very endearing. They were very open and accommodating with every concern I had.” Following the visit, it didn’t take Dr. Link long to start the process of yet another career move.
One of the first things Dr. Link had missed, in his two months of retirement, was the nuts and bolts of medicine itself. “Medicine is like a puzzle,” he explained. “Right now, because my practice is slower, I get to play with the puzzle more. It’s like a discovery when the symptoms of a patient match what you’ve been reading about.” The second thing he missed was the routine interaction with patients and staff. “I want to spend my time impacting lives in a positive way, and I really enjoy interacting with others in my office,” he explained.
As a younger man, Dr. Link was inspired by his father-in-law who was also an ENT specialist. “I had the idea that physicians were noble and bigger than life, probably because I watched Marcus Welby and Dr. Kildare when I was younger. However, my father-in-law instilled in me the love of medicine and was instrumental in shaping my future. He was a phenomenal role model for me.”
Following his graduation from Oral Roberts School of Medicine and a four-year internship in Hawaii, Dr. Link spent the bulk of his career in two locations. “I had a solo practice in Rome, GA, for 10 years, and in Cambridge, OH, also for 10 years.” Dr. Link said.
Deeply religious, Dr. Link believes that helping others find healing (both physically and spiritually) is a part of his life’s calling. “I’m so thankful that God has given me a new opportunity, in a new location, to impact lives. The patients I’m seeing here in Southeast Arkansas are some of the kindest, most courteous people I’ve ever met. I worked in the deep South for about a year once before, and I don’t remember it being this way. People here on the whole are different and much warmer,” Dr. Link said.
“I get pleasure in giving people an alternative way to what medicine usually gives them. I want to be able to find solutions and if I can’t help them, I want to get them directed to people better than me to help find their solution,” Dr. Link said. “We have to get out of the box of medicine, instead of waiting until we get a problem and then just put a band-aid on it. We need to think, what can I do today to make my mind, body and spirit healthier so we can prevent illness.”
Dr. Link has treated a broad spectrum of illnesses and diseases throughout his career. He performs all the standard tests and surgeries that most ENT specialists keep in their repertoire and has a wealth of experience which patients are finding invaluable at his clinic. “I think I’m different, and different is not always bad,” he said with a smile.
His office is located in the Jefferson Professional Building 2, at 1601 W. 40th, Suite 301-C, Pine Bluff, AR. If you would like a consultation with Dr. Link you can call his office at 870-541-6055 or ask your primary care physician for a referral.