Malachi Groover grew up in the world of medicine: His father is a doctor, specializing in hospice and palliative care. When Groover was 15, he joined his father, a few family members and a medical team on a mission trip to Ethiopia.
For several weeks, Groover got to see his father in action, as the team worked with a local hospital. His father taught the medical staff about current U.S. standards and best practices and offered trainings. It was an eye-opening experience for young Groover.
“It was inspiring to me,” he says now. “That’s when I said, ‘Okay, this seems like a really cool job.’”
In college, Groover applied himself (admittedly more than in high school) and was invigorated by success—realizing he could go further when he gave homework and class the attention they demanded. “I thought, ‘Why not go as far as I can with it to help other people?”
Groover, a Lawrenceville native, became a certified nursing assistant and eventually went to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. During college, he worked for a few years as a medical scribe for the Emergency Department at then-Gwinnett-Medical, an experience he considers a great entrance for someone who was already planning on attending medical school. Groover went to class full-time and worked nights in the hospital throughout college. It was a challenging time, he shares.
But the uncertainty and perseverance led him back to NGHS, where he’s a second-year Family Medicine resident. His journey in medicine took him back to where he began as a patient care technician in college.
“I remember walking into the hospital as an employee for the first time, and it was a big shock—a big, exciting thing for me to realize I was working in a hospital. It was cool and scary,” recalls Groover. “It was my first step.”
Though Groover thought he wanted to be an Emergency Department doctor, given his experience, he’s changed directions during his residency, focusing on outpatient medicine—maybe sports medicine (time will tell). He enjoys the relationships he can develop with patients and the opportunity to dig deeper and diagnose.
“NGHS was my first choice once I found out about the Family Medicine program, so I was really happy to get in,” says Groover. “The GME staff are really down to Earth, open and honest…We have a very supportive program.”
When Groover delivered his second child, as a resident, a newborn hearing screener asked him about his journey, seeking advice for her own aspirations. He told her what he tells anyone who asks: “You are cut out for it. You may feel small and like it’s out of reach, but it’s not. With discipline and integrity, you can do it.”