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Rebecca Sacora, MD

Rebecca Sacora, MD

Rebecca Sacora, MD

Specialty Area

Contact

(423) 735-4080

Physician Profile

About

It was a wild ride to family medicine for Dr. Rebecca Sacora – a former helicopter wilderness search-and-rescue medic who blazed her own trail to a medical career. Those adventures taught her many things and forged a path that led her to Ballad Health Medical Associates Family Medicine in Erwin, Tennessee.

She initially graduated with a degree in economics, a career that interested her but left her frustrated by so much telephone time and not enough personal contact. So her next move was a bold one – a 10-day job interview for a wilderness guide position in the West. She soon discovered that taking novices into the wild demanded medical skills.

That led her to jobs as a wilderness medical director, an emergency medical technician and rescue medic, and training as a flight medic.

While she loved helping patients in urgent situations, she wanted the connection of working with a patient beyond the emergency room. “I wanted to participate in the whole treatment,” she said.

So Sacora chose Northern Arizona University to get a degree in biomedical sciences, and in the process received a Science Foundation grant to study molecular markings for cancer to develop anticancer drugs. From there, she traveled to England to study medicine at St. George’s University in Newcastle, which has a coal mining history similar to East Tennessee. Then she completed her family practice residency at East Tennessee State University.

As a family practitioner, Dr. Sacora enjoys seeing patients from pediatric through geriatric. Working with everyone from granddads to grandkids gives her the chance to be involved in care for her patients through all parts of their lives. “My favorite part about a new patient is hearing their story – about their lives, their kids and grandkids. Even if we’re off-topic, maybe even rambling a bit about our families, I learn about them and their medical issues through their words. Sharing is bonding,” she said.

The lessons from her survival training carry over into her medical practice. “If I had gone straight to medicine, I would have missed the experience that makes me a better doctor. Mother Nature is good at teaching us how to troubleshoot. Survival skills give us the power to learn how to take care of ourselves.”

While she enjoyed her time in the West, Dr. Sacora loves being among the lush mountains of this region and plans to go hiking every day she possibly can. “It is so beautiful! I have a wonderful life here and I couldn’t be happier,” she said.

Locations

Clinics

Credentials & Education

Medical School

Medical Education
  • St. George’s University Newcastle, England
Residency
  • ETSU Family Medicine Associates Johnson City, Tennessee
Board Certification
  • American Board of Family Medicine