Fairfield Memorial Hospital now has its own orthopedic clinic, thanks to the work of Dr. John Walsh, chair of the Department of Orthopedics at University Specialty Medical Clinics, the collaboration of FMH CEO Mike Williams and the work of Fairfield County’s newest orthopedist, Dr. David Koon.
A resident of Columbia, Koon has 12 years of experience in medicine. He earned his undergraduate degree from Clemson in mathematics with a minor in biology and graduated in 1992 from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
Koon then served a 10-year active duty stint in the U.S. Army.
While in the Army he completed his residency training at Fort Gordon, Ga. and he served three years at Fort Rucker Ala. as a flight surgeon and the orthopedic consultant to the flight program there.
“My father is a veteran and a physician, so it was a natural fit to serve my country at the same time I completed medical residency,” Koon said.
An Army scholarship helped him pay for medical school. Koon also shares the military background with Walsh who also served 10 years in the Army.
Koon’s father is currently a primary care physician with the South Carolina Veterans Affairs Hospital, so he had opportunity to volunteer and perceive his calling at an early age.
He also became familiar with orthopedics through a unique opportunity for a new college graduate.
Before attending medical school, Koon worked as a orthopedist doctor’s cast technician.
That gave him hands-on experience with the specialization and a chance to not only observe a variety of doctors, but to interact one-on-one with patients.
According to Koon, the cast technician for an orthopedic surgeon is the physician’s right hand man who changes dressings, removes sutures, applies splints and applies casts.
As cast technician, Koon worked with six to seven physicians at a time. He said working closely with the patient and surgeon together helped his bedside manner and was invaluable preparation for medical school, and later, medical practice.
With his military service complete, now Koon putting that experience to use serving the Fairfield County area.
“So far, we have seen lots of patients. There is a real need for these services out here,” Koon said.
The clinic saves patients with arthritis, broken bones or dislocations from having to make a trip to Columbia for treatment.
Koon has a varied background with additional certification in sports medicine. He also works as associate professor of clinical orthopaedic surgery for University Specialty Clinics with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
He estimates his time is currently divided about one-third treating arthritis, hip and knee issues, one-third seeing trauma patients at Palmetto Richland and one-third practicing sports medicine.
Recent years have seen this father of three attending his children’s sporting events and cheer leading competitions. With his children in college or grown now, he hopes to get back to fishing when he is not practicing medicine.
“We are so pleased to have Dr. Koon here at Fairfield Memorial Hospital. His outpatient orthopedic clinic is going to add another service for our citizens right here in Winnsboro. He will offer quality orthopedic care,” said Williams.
Koon began seeing patients on July 18.
The clinic, located near the main entrance to the hospital, is held on Wednesdays from 1 until 5 p.m.
People may schedule appointments at the clinic by calling 803-712-0337.