SEVEN LAKES – While it probably doesn’t qualify as a defining point in his career, the year Richard C. Wolonick, D.O., spent as chief of family practice at the 18th Medical Group on Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, Japan, was certainly a memorable time.
Richard C. Wolonick, D.O.
While there on active duty with the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Wolonick was in charge of primary care for Air Force, Army and Navy troops and their dependents in the Air Force’s largest free-standing clinic. His responsibilities included scheduling seven family practice physicians and six family practice physician assistants while overseeing the day-to-day operations of a family practice department that averaged more than 300 outpatient visits a day.
He saw 25 to 40 patients a day himself and also served as chief of the 18th Medical Group’s Allergy Department, working with another physician to provide consult allergy services to active duty troops and their dependents.
“I worked with very, very good people who were there on a voluntary basis,” Dr. Wolonick says. “It was a very valuable experience for me as a physician.”
Dr. Wolonick recently joined Dan Matthews, P.A.-C, at the FirstHealth Family Care Center-Seven Lakes, where he sees patients every Thursday afternoon. “We hope eventually to expand those limited appointments based on volumes tied to the growth of Dr. Wolonick’s practice,” says Rae Williams, administrative director of FirstHealth Medical Practice Management.
When not in Seven Lakes, Dr. Wolonick sees patients at Wolonick Family Practice, the solo family medicine office he established in Laurinburg in 1998.
Board certified in family practice medicine, Dr. Wolonick received a B.S. in risk management and insurance magna cum laude from Florida State University in Tallahassee and then did post-graduate work in the College of Arts and Sciences at Stetson University in Deland, Fla.
He earned his doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) degree with highest honors from the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Southeastern University of Health Sciences and was chief resident during his family practice residency at Malcolm Grow U.S. Air Force Medical Center, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.
Dr. Wolonick, who was in the Air Force (active duty and reserves) for 15 years, says he chose to specialize in family practice medicine because of the variety of the work.
“You never quite know what you’re going to see,” he says. “It is a specialty of breadths, a wide specialty. You don’t have to know everything, but you have to know a little bit about everything, which keeps things interesting. As a family practice physician, you have to be able to direct patients to the best resources so they can get the best care possible.”
The FirstHealth Family Care Center-Seven Lakes is located at 1035-C Seven Lakes Drive in Seven Lakes. To make an appointment with Richard C. Wolonick, D.O., or Dan Matthews, P.A.-C, call 673-0045.