Dr. Hopper, new primary care physician at Atlas

Published 9:23 am Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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by Kerri Klatt, managing Editor

Dr. Russ Hopper, M.D. is now a practicing physician at Atlas Internal Medicine and has just started his medical career this week. Dr. Hopper is a 2012 graduate of Crisp Academy and grew up in the city of Pitts. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in genetics at the University of Georgia located in Athens. Dr. Hopper attended Mercer for his Doctor of Medicine degree and recently finished his three-year residency within family medicine at Piedmont Columbus Regional. “I finished up at the end of June,” said Dr. Hopper, “and I just started this week.” Dr. Richard Stevens, M.D., also from Atlas Internal Medicine, mentored Dr. Hopper. “He has helped me get to this point,” said Dr. Hopper, “So it seemed like a good fit all the way around.” Dr. Richards Stevens assisted Dr. Hopper with rotations for his education and degree completion.

One education program assisted Dr. Hopper in realizing his potential. “When I was an undergrad, I did this program- the Area Health Education Center,” said Dr. Hopper, “they put on a summer program to help undergraduates, rural students get into medical school.” That program, Area Health Education Centers, AHEC is a program facilitated in regions where health care and health care education needs are not adequately met. The AHEC assists to make health care education that includes residency and student rotations, locally available. “You do six weeks of working in primary care offices,” said Dr. Hopper, “And I just love that.” It was during the program that Dr. Hopper knew primary care was his calling. “It was that time in primary care that told me that this is what I really wanted to do,” said Dr. Hopper, “I found it wonderful how, in smaller areas, the primary care doctors get to help their neighbors.”

Dr. Hopper enjoyed growing up in this community and has formed good relationships throughout the community. Dr. Hopper and his wife, also from the area, just welcomed a daughter in November and would like to stay in the community near family. “You form these relationships and get to bond with folks and help them through good times and bad,” said Dr. Hopper, “and it sounded like a great way to spend your life and calling.”