RAEFORD – James Mergy, M.D., is joining the FirstHealth Primary Care team in Raeford, joining Linda Hughes, M.D.; Andrew LePorte, D.O.; and Jennifer Bowyer, FNP-C, at the Physician Offices & Specialty Center located on the campus of MRH-Hoke.
Originally from Southern California, Dr. Mergy earned a bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, San Diego. He earned his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco and completed the family practice residency program at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Mergy worked as a family medicine physician for three years in California before moving east and joining the faculty at Duke Southern Regional Area Health Education Center (SR-AHEC).
“When applying to medical schools, Duke always intrigued me,” said Dr. Mergy. “I ultimately chose to stay in California for medical school and the start of my career. However, teaching has always interested me, so I applied to the Duke Physician Network and was named associate director of the Duke SR-AHEC family medicine residency program in Fayetteville in 1993.”
Coincidentally, one of Dr. Mergy’s first roles at SR-AHEC was a grant to be the lead faculty in helping expose medical school residents to rural medicine, specifically in Hoke County. Dr. Mergy spent time working at the former Hoke Family Medicine to bring residents to that practice for rotations, covering vacations and expanding collaboration with several rural practices. Dr. Mergy said he took an early interest in FirstHealth of the Carolinas during his time at SR-AHEC. “Over the years, I always kept an eye on what FirstHealth was doing and becoming. In the last few years, several of our residents have been hired, and I am pleased with how happy they are.”
He added that he believes leadership, vision and values are the most important factors in looking for a job. “It was an easy decision to join FirstHealth of the Carolinas, and I’m honored to work for an organization that shares my vision and values for high-quality health care,” he said. “I believe that family medicine is first and foremost about continuity and building a relationship with my patients over time. As patient care has become more fragmented, I take seriously my role as a family physician to coordinate and guide patients to the most appropriate resources for care.”
Dr. Mergy has experience in all aspects of family medicine, from prenatal care, delivering babies and hospital care to newborn and geriatric care and the complete range of outpatient procedures. He has a special interest in procedure medicine as well as sports medicine, having taught residents in sports medicine for more than 25 years.
Dr. Mergy currently serves as the medical team physician for Fayetteville State University. “I am on the sidelines of their home football games and see their athletes and coaches for non-orthopedic issues,” he said. “I’ve conducted the majority of the pre-participation exams on their athletes for the past 20 years, and I’m happy to continue this relationship while at FirstHealth.”
Dr. Mergy also works with several high schools throughout Cumberland County and consults on their athletes regularly. He has a special interest in concussion management and has been a consulting physician for the local public and private high schools for concussion management and clearance for Fayetteville State Athletics.
Dr. Mergy and his wife Kelly, who is a women’s health nurse practitioner, have been happily married for 28 years. They have three children; a son who is a graduate of both the University of North Carolina and Wake Forest University and works as a data analyst in the Triangle, a daughter who is a senior at N.C. State University studying nutrition science and a daughter who is a freshman at the University of South Carolina with an interest in studying law or criminal justice.
Most of Dr. Mergy’s free time revolves around his family. He also has an interest in photography and has published thousands of live-action shots of school athletic events over the years. He stays active by cycling and playing golf when he gets the chance. He also has interest in low-risk investment portfolio management.
To make an appointment with Dr. Mergy at FirstHealth Primary Care, Physician Offices & Specialty Center, located at 6322 Fayetteville Road in Raeford, call (910) 878-6700.