About Dr. Neely

Meet Dr. John Neely!

Every Clinician worth his salt knows that mastery of medicine comes from work not talent. I began my professional life as a general surgery intern with high hopes of turning my burning ambition into a career in neurosurgery. My internship would prove to be both one of the most difficult yet rewarding years of my life as I struggled to turn the years of rigorous academic training into effective clinical practice. After thousands of hours and, often minimal supervision, managing complex surgical patients I began to learn the fine art of clinical decision making. It was excellent training and I came away from that year with a great deal of general and trauma surgery experience. Most importantly however, I had the invaluable opportunity to perform hundreds of bedside procedures that would later serve me well in emergency medicine.

I finished my internship in July of 2011 and began a year-long neurosurgery pre-residency fellowship at the Lahey clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts. My days began at 5:30 a.m. each morning and I never left the hospital before 7:30 at night. I would then typically study until 9:00 p.m. I was on call every other day and attended weekly lectures at Tufts University in Boston where I had the opportunity to learn from some of the leading figures in neurology and neurosurgery. I assisted in hundreds of neurosurgical procedures ranging from complex brain tumors to spinal trauma. I have never learned so much.

Boston introduced me to the world of ideas. I spent what little free time I had at Harvard and Boston College and sought out other mind-expanding experiences such as the Boston Atheneum which is one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States. Alas, neurosurgery was not my calling. It’s too specialized for my liking and, at the end of the year I left Boston to begin my residency in internal medicine at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Louisiana. I spent the next 3 years learning to care for a large underserved population deeply affected by many complex chronic diseases. By the time I finish my training I was able to successfully manage all manner of cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, hepatic, gastrointestinal, urologic, and musculoskeletal diseases.

However, I consider my professional life to have truly began at the end of my first year of residency when a friend suggested I moonlight part-time in a local rural emergency room. There’s a myth perpetrated by the establishment that the best training comes from large academic medical centers. I disagree. While these centers do care for many of the sickest patients, they also have every specialist available and their army of resident and fellows ready to siphon off the complex cases. This leaves little opportunity for young doctors to work through difficult cases and refine their skills. Exactly the opposite is true in rural medicine. I began picking up every shift I could including nights, weekends, and holidays. I would frequently work my normal day as an internal medicine resident and then drive an hour each way to work overnight in the ER. I always made it back to the hospital in time for internal medicine rounds at 7:00 a.m. I saw thousands of patients and quickly developed the knowledge, confidence, and skills necessary to practice effective.

I knew my future lay in emergency medicine. I took a year-long emergency medicine fellowship at Methodist Hospital in Memphis Tennessee which, to this day, stands as the best professional decisions I’ve ever made. I worked fifteen twelve-hour shifts a month and, picked up two additional rural ER moonlighting jobs. I would frequently stack my fellowship and moonlighting responsibilities back-to-back. However, despite the long hours I always made it back to Memphis in time to meet friends on Beale Street for an evening out. It was a great time in life! By the time I graduated in 2015 I could confidently diagnose and treat all manner of pediatric, adult, and female emergency medical conditions. I moved to California in early 2016 to chase my piece the American dream and have been practicing full-time emergency medicine in the Los Angeles and Central Valley areas since.

I am pleased to be returning to primary care. Emergency medicine demands many nights, weekends, and holidays and these obligations are beginning to take their toll. My years of clinical experience have given me the tools to serve my patients well and, I miss the long-term relationships common to internal medicine. I look forward to being a partner on your journey across the long arc of lifelong health.

Why join Destinations Direct Primary Care?

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