Top Doctors: The Reigning Champs

We've asked local physicians to choose the Top Doctors four times. These reigning champs have earned a place on every single list.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

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Dr. McMurrayDr. Ted McMurry, M.D.

Emergency Medicine, St. John's Clinic, Emergency & Trauma Center

As consumers of popular culture, we become familiar with images of the fast-paced, hectic and oddly exciting world of the emergency room-or at least Hollywood's version of it. There's ER and Gray's Anatomy (which is really about the surgeons, but we see the trauma cases that go through the door there) and Scrubs. So when you sit down, face-to-face with a doctor who specializes in emergency medicine, the first thing you might want to know is, "So, is it like ER?" If that doctor is Ted McMurry, the answer will be that he's never even seen the show.

He's not one to watch actors on TV live out what his career is supposed to be like. He's more of a Sci-Fi Channel kind of guy. He's a fantasy fiction reader who pores over Tolkien and even the Harry Potter series. He's a bird hunter with four English setters (Moz, Patch, Missy and Queenie) who he takes out to hunt quail and pheasant. He's a runner whose wife is his exercise partner. He's a boater who enjoys the quiet seclusion and traffic-free beauty of Bull Shoals Lake. The only medical show he ever watched was M*A*S*H-the original. He's a big fan.

His attraction to it might not be accidental, though. McMurry, 52, spent some of his own life in the military. He was in the United States Army. It was a job that took this Alamogordo, New Mexico native to live in places such as Tacoma, Washington; Augusta, Georgia; Monterey, California; San Antonio, Texas and then finally Springfield, Missouri. He's been a rambling man, moving around all over the country and learning the quirks of each city he lived in-and learning that Springfield beats them all for him and his wife, Jody, and three kids. He would go back to the Northwest-to the Seattle area-but he says that for two years while he was there, Seattle only had summer for one month. Springfield and its part of the country have all four seasons every year. He liked living in San Antonio, but it had too much of a big-city feel. Springfield is more his size. And Los Angeles? Well, there's just a different attitude out there.

It wasn't just a series of cities and homes that led McMurry to his current spot at St. John's in Springfield. He also started college with anything but science in mind, but wound up in medicine nonetheless. McMurry says that when he was starting college at Eastern New Mexico University fresh out of high school, he didn't want to take any more science courses. But a friend of his in college was in the pre-med program and struggling through his science classes. McMurry would sometimes help him with his work, and the two became better friends through a Bible study group as well. Over time, inspired by his friend, McMurry began to look into medicine as a vocation. Ultimately, he graduated with a chemistry degree and went onto to the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. He did his residency in emergency medicine-a good fit for him because he liked seeing the whole scope of patients and disease, but he didn't like being in an office or a clinic all day. He likes the acuity of emergency medicine and his exposure to new or severe disease, and of course, the opportunity to help the patients who are suffering from them. It's an interesting choice for a man who originally though he didn't want to take any more science classes, but it's one that's a perfect fit for his goals.

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