Born and raised in Texas, with a reputation of being one of the most genuine, caring people that you will ever come across – is John Scott, one of the most sought after Anesthesiologists in America, as well as a Texas Board of Regents appointee and humanitarian at heart. He is somebody who tirelessly takes care of others and is continuously overcoming challenges – but never lets it dampen his drive or passion to help anyone that he can.
From a young age, John developed an absolute passion for healing and helping others. It is rare to find people like him in this world – the kind of people who are genuinely selfless and want nothing but the best for others. He has an impeccable reputation in all sectors – and is trusted deeply by US congressman Michael Burgess, MD. Who stated;
“John’s accomplishments are driven by his desire to heal and protect others, always standing up for those who need his help, he is an advocate for patient-centered care, and has a track record of organizing and activating physicians across Texas to ensure that health care allows doctors to be doctors. John’s zeal for advocacy guarantees Texas is better off.”
After hearing such admiration, I felt it was only necessary to have a chat with Mr. Scott – to find out what it was that made him the remarkable person that he is today:
Hi, John. Thanks for being here for this interview. I’d love to know: What’s your story? How’d you get your start?
I grew up in Beaumont, Texas and came from a family of auto mechanics and oil field workers. It was just me, my sister, Patti, and our parents. I focused my energy on sports growing up – sometimes at the expense of my studies – but I loved being an athlete and gave it my all.
When I finished high school, I wasn’t sure where to focus my attention. When I thought about the future, I knew I wanted two things – to be financially independent and to help people. I decided college was the best option, and around the same time I started working in the physical therapy department at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont. My observations and hands on experience here sparked my overwhelming desire to become a physician.
Knowing “how” to study did not come natural for me, however, I was determined. I knew that grit and hard work would get me to the finish line. I learned to approach my coursework the way I did sports. When my classmates were getting sick of studying, I’d tell myself, “Okay, this is the fourth quarter – two minutes left – suck it up, let’s go, let’s go.” Just like a football game. Sports taught me mental toughness, and college taught me to transfer that mentality to other areas of my life.
At the end of my first semester, I bumped into one of my childhood friends, Mike Osczakiewicz. Jokingly, we both said to each other “What are you doing here? You’re too dumb to be here!” He was an electrical engineering major, struggling like I was. Here we were, two kids from Beaumont surrounded by all these brainiacs. We learned to lean on one another, and we viewed school as a competition in order to constantly push each other to be the best. Mike eventually changed his major to pre-med and later became a successful heart surgeon in Beaumont.
Many believed I wouldn’t survive medical school – my dad being one of the non-believers. Despite us being very close, I remember the day he looked at me and said “John, you’re not serious enough to be a doctor.” I knew in that moment I was given the opportunity to prove myself, and settling for mediocrity was not an option.
During residency, I joined the Army Reserves and, 9 years later, retired as a Major. Today, I’m a board certified anesthesiologist, with two fellowships – one in pain, the other in cardiac anesthesia. I am blessed to have the title of Chief Medical Officer and Chairman of the Board for ALLCARE Physicians Group, as well as Liberty Hospice. Having been a 7 year member of the Texas Medical Board District Review Committee, appointed by Governor Perry, I was delighted when Governor Abbot not only kept me on, but later appointed me to the Physician Assistant Board. I’m also the Chairman of the Texas Society of Anesthesia (Political Action Committee), and I serve on the Executive Board for the American Society of Anesthesia (PAC). This past November, I received a phone call from the Governor’s office asking me to serve on the Board of Regents of the University of North Texas. That, in itself, was one of the highlights of my professional life, and it’s been an honor and a blessing to be in this role.
I share all of this for the purpose of driving home the message that you can’t let the opinions of others define you. It’s about how hungry you are to go after your dreams, how motivated you are – not what other people think you can or cannot do. You are responsible and accountable for paving your own path, overcoming adversity, and positioning yourself to be “ready” for that next opportunity.
You’ve touched on a little bit but tell me more: What is one guiding principle or belief that you hold about the way you work and the way you live your life?
Two words: Desire and dedication. Anybody can do anything if they fully invest their mind and heart. Nothing should stop you from reaching your goal. I am not gifted academically – I had to dig deep and pour all that I had into what I knew I wanted for myself. If everything comes easily to you, once you face adversity for the first time, you’ll fall apart. One must be skilled in the art of checking and adjusting as life throws curve balls. If you get the wind knocked out of your sails, you stand and persevere.
Do you think all your hard work makes you appreciate the end goal even more?
Absolutely. It’s not only about hard work though – it’s about “how” you work. Approaching my work with intense passion, unwavering determination, and positive thinking has been my recipe for success.
You mentioned that sports were the catalyst for developing your work ethic. Are sports still a part of your life today?
I still love all sports. The ones I currently enjoy the most include weight lifting, running, and Martial Arts. Over the last several decades, I’ve earned nine different blackbelts. As a young teen struggling to build self-confidence and combat bullying, I turned to Martial Arts. It changed my life and part of me paying that gift forward, I became very involved as an adult in anti-bullying campaigns and teaching kids self-defense.
How would you say martial arts ties into your passion for helping and healing people?
Some of the basic foundational principles of Martial Arts are discipline, commitment, and being healthy to develop both your body and mind. I recognize the benefits of staying fit, following a healthy diet, and pushing your body to move. I have studied wellness, stem cell rejuvenation, nutrition, and the benefits of supplements for several years. I cannot prescribe a lifestyle to someone that I am not well versed at living myself.
A big part of medicine is psychology, and the belief you can improve your health. In January of 2019 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I leaned on colleagues for their expertise, immersed myself in every piece of relevant data and literature I could get my hands on, and increased the intensity of my daily work outs. I encountered a few dark days, however, I surrounded myself with the positive influence of family and friends, and unleashed all my fear and negativity in the gym. Not once did I allow myself to feel defeated. While this was the most frightening “obstacle” I had ever encountered, it didn’t get any special treatment. It was in my way, and I was going to go through it, over the top of it, or around it – but, one thing was certain, I was going to win – and I did exactly that.
How do you have time for all of your interests?
I maximize my time. After work, I am at the gym with a trainer daily. I also practice martial arts, yoga, and meditation every day. It’s about being organized and planful. There are enough hours in the day, you simply have to schedule time and be consistent.
I’d love to hear about your charitable involvement too. How do you give back to your community?
For 10 years I was on the Board of Directors for the DFW Human Society. Initially, I approached them and said, “Hey, can I come clean cages?” They said “No, we could really use your help raising money for us. Would you be interested in being on our Board?” I like doing fundraisers and charity events – it’s kind of a hobby – so this was right in my wheelhouse.
Animals need advocates, and it’s our responsibility to protect them. I grew up spending summers on my uncle’s horse ranch, so horses were always very special to me. Having had many rescues of my own, my involvement with the Humane Society was, and always will be, close to my heart.
For the last 15 years, I’ve also served as an usher at White Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake. My dad was an usher when I was growing up, so I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I have been heavily involved in the church since I was a kid in Beaumont.
Lastly, what’s one thing you’d like anyone who reads this interview to take away from it?
The biggest thing is making the most of what you’re given. Believe in yourself, and push boundaries. I’m just a regular guy who learned at a very young age that there is power in perseverance. While it feels like I’ve accomplished a lot, many days I feel I’ve only scratched the surface of the impact I want to make, and legacy I want to leave. I view every day as an opportunity to do something better, bigger, and faster than the day before. For me, this is just the beginning.