A native of New Orleans, Dr. Scott Pethke moved to the Evans area in 2011 in response to lingering effects of Hurricane Katrina on local businesses. “We wanted to stay in the southeast but didn't want to be in a big city like Atlanta and didn't necessarily want to be on the coastline either,” shares Scott. “I like that this area has the benefits of a larger city as far as the social activities and restaurants, but it's still a small, friendly community. It's the best of both worlds as far as having the wonderful amenities but still having a bit of a rural feel.”
Scott’s path to practicing medicine began while he was in college. “I’ve always loved math and science and my degree in college was biomedical engineering,” he says. “I think what was so attractive about the medical field is that it encompasses different sciences, math, and being involved with people.” As a doctor, Scott specializes in pulmonary and critical care medicine. “So much of the practice of medicine, at least internal medicine, becomes a little bit fragmented,” he explains. “If you want to be a cardiologist, often you specialize in something very specific. I think the attractive part of pulmonary and critical care is that you're looking at all the different medical problems and at the whole picture.”
Augusta Lung Associates, which Scott joined as a practicing partner in 2012, is an independent medical group with four physicians who provide care for patients with lung related diseases and ailments such as asthma, COPD (emphysema), acute and chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, lung cancer, and tobacco use disorder. They also evaluate patients for, and manage patients with, sleep apnea. Scott and his partners see patients both in an outpatient setting at the office and during hospital stays, which provides much needed continuity of medical care.
In addition to seeking treatments for ailments, Scott recommends preventative care and screenings as well. “Smokers and tobacco users should be evaluated and see if they're at risk or have early COPD or developing some other type of issue,” Scott explains. “Additionally, for people who have a long-term history of smoking cigarettes, lung cancer screening is recommended. If you're short of breath or you have persistent coughing, then there may be something going on that we might be able to help you with.”
One aspect of his practice that Scott enjoys the most is the relationships he develops with patients. “When you meet people who have chronic diseases and you manage those diseases over time, whether it’s a few months, a couple years, or a decade or more, you develop a relationship with that person and that's definitely fulfilling,” says Scott. “However, it's equally fulfilling when you see somebody and you can say, ‘that problem is over with and you don't ever have to see me again’, because that's a good thing.”
Dr. Scott Pethke, with Augusta Lung Associates, is located at 1301 Broad Street in Augusta. For more information on types of care provided, visit augustalung.com or call 706-922-LUNG (5864).