Dr. Govind Patel has served the community for 25 years, and he’s not stopping now.

Patel, who is originally from a small village in India, said his older brother knew that he was smart and encouraged him to be a doctor.

In India, Patel attended Patan Arts and Science College and B.J. Medical College at Gujarat University. He then went to the University of Louisville in Kentucky for his residency.

He worked as an associate with Dr. Robert Mutch for six months, and when Mutch retired, Patel went out on his own. In 1983, he established a private practice in internal medicine and allergy at 1844 Locust Ave. in Fairmont.

“It’s a family dream for him to be a doctor,” Patel’s wife Shobha said.

As the office manager, Shobha works closely with the staff of her husband’s practice. The couple lives in Fairmont and has four children.

Dr. Patel is also a Fairmont General Hospital staff member and is part of the Hospitalist Program. He splits his time between doing rounds at the hospital, seeing patients at his practice, and other medical-related commitments.

“The only time I’m not busy is when I’m on vacation,” he said.

Patel serves as a health director at several facilities, including the Marion County Health Department, Arbors at Fairmont Nursing Home and St. Barbara’s Nursing Home. In addition, he works with patients at Wishing Well and is an American Medical Examiner for the Federal Aviation Association.

“I like to help people,” he said, “and the more I’m involved in the community, I touch more people that way.”

Patel said every day is a challenge because each patient has a unique problem. He has to keep his mind active and stay up-to-date with current medical knowledge to solve these problems.

Several of Patel’s patients have been with him since he started 25 years ago, and they take pride in this. Patel said he enjoys interacting with his patients, and he has helped three generations of some families. He even makes house calls.

“He’s a typical country doctor,” Shobha said of her husband.

Working in medicine over the years, Dr. Patel has seen some medical mysteries and miracles that he can’t explain, and he has grown as a doctor. He said he is more humble and has learned to have more faith in God in order to keep going.

On Aug. 1, a special dinner at Fairmont General Hospital celebrated Patel’s 25 years in medicine. Hospital staff, patients and members of the public gathered to honor Patel and his achievement.

“It’s nice to be recognized,” he said. “It’s nice to see how many people you’ve helped.”

As for the future, Patel will continue using the knowledge that he has gained to help others and serve the community.

E-mail Jessica Legge at jlegge@timeswv.com.

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