|February 14, 2013
Dr. John Foster joins St. Luke Community Healthcare team
Dr. John Foster is the newest addition to the St. Luke Community Healthcare medical staff (courtesy photo)
RONAN — The newest addition to the medical staff at St. Luke Community Healthcare has a family history that includes a grandfather and an uncle who were missionary doctors in Africa.
While growing up in South Africa, Dr. John Foster was always hearing stories about his grandfather, a doctor in Zambia who flew to missionary hospitals around Africa. “It set a standard that is a lot to live up to,” Foster says.
He goes on to say the stories he heard led to a fascination with medicine that followed him into adulthood. After earning an undergraduate degree at the Southern College of Seventh-day Adventists in Collegedale, TN, he attended graduate school at Loma Linda University in California, and graduated from the School of Medicine there is 2001.
Initially Foster had an interest in surgery and completed four years of a five-year surgery residency in California. Then, he says, “My desire to care for patients throughout their lives, and to work in a rural community, brought me to Montana.” In Montana, Foster completed two more years of family practice residency in Billings “that was specifically geared to helping doctors learn to practice in rural areas.”
Foster then spent five years as a family doctor in Hardin where he also did surgery. It was then that he heard about the opening at St. Luke from a friend, and decided to look into it. “One door opened off another, and here we are,” he says.
Foster brings with him his wife, Nicole, and year-old daughter, Zoe. Nicole grew up in Seattle, has family in western Montana, and spent time in the Treasure State as a child. She is trained as an emergency-room nurse, and also holds a degree in hospitality business management.
The Mission Valley “affords us country living in a community where we can put down roots and really become part of it,” says Foster. “Of course, the beauty (of the valley) doesn’t hurt either.”
The only downside? No ocean. Foster is an avid surfer, who has ridden waves in Cape Town and on the Pacific Ocean, both in California and Hawaii. Fortunately, Montana is a good match for his long list of other outdoor pursuits, including snow and water skiing, fly-fishing, mountain biking, road racing, backpacking, swimming, sailing, scuba diving and hunting.
Although Foster continues to enjoy surgery, and hopes he can put some of those skills to use at St. Luke, his focus is primary care. “I’m interested in obstetrics, pediatrics and all kinds of general family medicine - I want to be a good, old-fashioned family doctor,” he explains.
Dr. Foster is now seeing patients at St. Luke Community Clinic in Ronan. Appointments can be made at 676-3600.