The doctor will see you now: Stephens joins Self Regional, Family Healthcare Clinton.
By Kelly Duncan
Dr. Dillard Stephens, D.O. is no stranger to the world of medicine. Stephens, who grew up in Clinton, will be the third generation of Stephens’ to practice as a Family Practice Physician, as he joins Self Regional Medical Center and Family Healthcare Clinton, following in the footsteps of his father, Louis Stephens Jr. and grandfather Louis Stephens Sr.
“My dad practices at Self as well. When he graduated from residency in Florence, he had the opportunity to work with his dad, Dr. Louis Stephens Sr. He got to work with him for several years before my granddad retired. He always talked highly of that time together and working together. Sure enough, I graduated residency and dad’s still practicing and they had an opening here so I figured I might as well take the opportunity and get to work with him for a few years, hopefully many years. I figured it would be a special opportunity to work with my dad and be in the same building and have that relationship,” Stephens said.
Stephens received his bachelors degree from Presbyterian College and earned his medical degree from Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Spartanburg. He then completed his family medicine residency at the Self Regional Healthcare Family Medicine Residency Program in Greenwood.
As a student in college, Stephens wasn’t sure what he wanted to do.
“I was always good at science and thought I would do something science-related, but honestly with dad being a physician that was kind of the last thing I wanted to do,” he said. “I’d grown up being a physician’s child and kind of saw the backside of medicine most people don’t see until much later. Through three or four years of undergrad I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do and I realized the thing I liked the most was medicine – being able to talk to patients and help people, having that birth to death experience with people is just a special thing.”
Orthopedics interested Stephens, but somehow he always came back to family medicine. He said he almost considered pharmacy, but after hours in the lab realized it wasn't what he wanted to do.
So family medicine it was…Stephens’ official day was July 19 and he said the transition has been a lot like riding a bike.
“Your first day is kind of rough, trying to get in the flow. The hard part is the new environment, new workflow and trying to figure out where do I go and who do I ask. Growing up in the office, I know a fair amount, but the work role is a little different,” he said.
And in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Stephens said they are continuing to practice hand hygiene, wearing face masks and encouraging vaccinations all while providing as much full spectrum care as possible.
“That’s something I enjoy and one of the reasons I got into family medicine – to have that full scope. I’m interested in muscular-skeletal medicine and just x-rays, ultrasounds, etc. Hopefully we’ll be able to provide as much full spectrum care as possible without having to refer out for everything,” Stephens said.
But more than anything, Stephens wants potential and current patients to know that he’s a family guy who believes taking care of families is just as important.
“I like the idea of taking care of kids, parents and grandparents of the same family. I’m here to work and take care of the community,” he said.