AHEC - North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program
Touched by an AHEC: Stories from 100 Counties
Joel Miller, MD

Joel Miller, MD, at Catawba Women's Center, Hickory

Catawba County | Northwest AHEC

Joel Miller, MD, Ob/Gyn at Catawba Women's Center, Hickory

“I have certainly been more than touched by an AHEC. For me it’s not just having been touched; my whole professional career as it has developed over the past 30 years is because of AHEC.

“In 1977 I was the first Ob/Gyn resident from NC Baptist Hospital/Bowman Gray School of Medicine to come to Catawba Memorial Hospital (now Catawba Valley Medical Center) in Hickory for a new AHEC-sponsored residency program. Starting then, third year residents each came to Hickory for about 2 ˝ months. It was a wonderful rotation with lots of experience and training in a community setting outside the ‘ivory tower’ medical center.

“The reason AHEC has more than ‘touched’ my career is that while I was doing my rotation in Hickory, I met the physicians from the group with which I have practiced for the last 30 years, Catawba Women’s Center. After my rotation they offered me a position in their practice. Having worked with them gave me a tremendous advantage when choosing my future practice and medical community. It’s all worked out very well and here I am 30 years later still being touched by our AHEC facility in Hickory.”