Dr. Chetlen Crossnoe grew up in Lubbock with an interest in biology and math. However, his original interest was in research, not practicing medicine.
After graduating from Lubbock Christian High School, Dr. Crossnoe majored in biology, chemistry and math at Abilene Christian University. From there, he completed an M.D. Ph.D. biomedical research program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. While in grad school, Dr. Crossnoe found out he really enjoyed teaching others, and he says that’s what led him to medicine after completing his Ph.D. in Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics.
“Medicine is nothing but teaching people one on one. Half of what I do is telling people about what this disease is, how you deal with it, what this medicine does for you, and that is what I love doing. I love teaching people, interacting with them in that way.”
After completing his residency in Family Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Dr. Crossnoe is board-certified in Family Medicine. He went into family practice because of how much the specialty covers. “We do an amazing variety of things. I mean we do acute care of all kinds of problems, but we also do lot of preventive care and chronic disease maintenance. And then people walk in with just about anything, sometimes completely puzzling, and you have to work through it and figure out what is going on,” Dr. Crossnoe says.
Besides the problem-solving, Dr. Crossnoe says the best part of being a primary care doctor is the relationships he has with his patients. He says a patient may come in with one issue, but through a simple conversation, he’ll soon learn there are other problems. “What quality care means to me is medical care that is based on evidence, so it is scientifically sound, but at the same time it is tailored to an individual patient. We need enough interaction with that patient so that they understand what they are doing, why they are doing it, and then they can be involved and invested in their own treatment.”
As part of his Family Medicine practice, Dr. Crossnoe says one of the advantages Grace Health System® offers to patients is the Walk-In Clinic. He says it is open seven days a week, and he can tell patients to come back the next day so he can do a follow-up exam on them. “That is a lot better than waiting three days or more. It is a real advantage for patients because we are there when they need care.”
Much attention is paid on preventative medicine as part of Dr. Crossnoe’s primary care practice, and that includes lifestyle changes. “If we can solve things with lifestyle rather than taking medication, it is always better. There are some situations you have to take medicines because that is just the way it is, and there are problems that have to be solved that way. But if you can solve it by diet and exercise, then it is healthier, people tend to be happier, there are less side effects and so forth. I love talking to people about exercise.”
At the end of day, Dr. Crossnoe says it makes it all worthwhile when his patient will tell him how he helped them. “As a family medicine doctor, I don’t dramatically save people’s lives on a regular basis the way a trauma surgeon might, but I have a handful of people who claim that I saved their lives. To have somebody out there that believes you saved their life, that is a powerful thing.”