Dewey Scarbrough, physician assistant and well-known Southeast Arkansas healthcare provider, has long been admired and trusted in our community. When Dewey left two years ago to practice medicine in Jacksonville, it was a significant loss for his patients. However, as of this summer, Dewey is back and practicing at JRMC’s Healthcare Plus.
“I wanted to come home,” Dewey said. “I grew up in Dumas, and I’ve lived in cities all across the country that are great. But as awesome as places like Phoenix and San Antonio are, I was ready to come back here. There’s just something about when you cross a certain area of the state and you get back into Southeast Arkansas – to me, it’s just like taking deep breath. It’s just home.”
Dewey has been working at Healthcare Plus since May, and he said the experience has been wonderful so far. “These folks have embraced me,” he said. “There has not been a day that I haven’t felt welcomed or that someone hasn’t gone out of their way to help me.”
Dewey said the atmosphere at Healthcare Plus is exceptionally calm and professional, which lends itself to a positive, easy-going environment for patients and visitors. “A lot of it starts here with Dr. Alexander,” Dewey said. “He’s such an easy going man, and people feed off that. If he were to come in here tense and stressed, we’d all be like that. I definitely love that part of the atmosphere here.”
Dewey’s philosophy on practicing medicine stems from what he observed growing up in Dumas. “All I knew of medicine was our family doctor,” he said. “We didn’t know what specialties or subspecialties were – he just took care of everything. Break your arm? Go to the doctor. Have a headache? Go to the doctor. My philosophy of medicine is thinking about those old rural doctors that saw you for everything. Having a rough time in life personally? They’ll talk to you. High blood pressure? They’ll see you. You just took things to your doctor. I really try to be that for people.”
Dewey said he loves getting to know and interact with patients on a personal level. “Those days when patients come to you with questions that aren’t even related to health – when they would just like your opinion on something – are huge,” he said. “They’re an honor, because now I’ve had the opportunity to help people with other aspects of their lives. To have that ability to affect people’s lives outside of just healthcare is awesome, and I think that’s something you can only do in rural areas. Particularly having done it long enough that you know people and you remember their lives.”
In the same way patients are comforted by knowing providers well, Dewey is also comforted when he’s known patients for years. “When I was in Southeast Arkansas before, I saw some patients for 10 years, and it’s just comforting when you know somebody so well,” he said.
Dewey said impacting lives in Southeast Arkansas is incredibly meaningful to him. “I’m just sitting down and talking,” he said. “I admit I don’t know all the answers, but I’ll do everything I can to help them. To me, the best part of rural medicine is that I don’t always just treat someone’s medical problems. I actually get to influence different things in people’s lives that are not medically related. Again, it harkens back to the old doctors I remember down in Dumas – they just took care of everything for people, and Pine Bluff definitely still has that feel about it.”
Healthcare Plus is a walk-in clinic in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, located at 4747 Dusty Lake Drive, Suite G1, Pine Bluff, AR 71603. For more information, call 870-536-6600.