General Surgeon Dr. Kenneth Korey Retires After 40 Years of Service to Brevard County
By Space Coast Daily // February 9, 2016
Looks Back on 40 Years of Service
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Kenneth W. Korey, M.D., P.A., a general surgeon and a steadfast figure within the Wuesthoff Health System family, is retiring after 40 years of medical practice.
Active in Brevard County since the 1970s, Dr. Korey has spent decades treating breast cancer, performing laparoscopic surgery, and helping patients with thyroid and pancreatic illness.
Highlights of Dr. Korey’s distinguished career include his longtime service on the Wuesthoff Health Systems Board of Directors. Among his other hospital appointments are leadership roles with the Department of Surgery, Medical Staff, Credentials Committee, ICU Committee and Emergency Room Committee.
Dr. Korey has also served as president of the Central Brevard Medical Profession Association.
The Jacksonville native was just entering his teenage years when he decided to seek a career in medicine.
His boyhood friend’s father, a pediatrician, had a monumental impact on his choice.
“Dr. Joel Fleet inspired me, and that inspiration helped propel me into the field I’ve found so rewarding all these years,” said Dr. Korey, 72, whose last day with Surgical Associates of Brevard was the end of January.
“It was more than just his role as a doctor that made an impression on me. Dr. Fleet exhibited qualities I wanted to emulate: integrity, compassion, honesty.”
Dr. Korey graduated from the University of Florida in 1970 and finished his internship a year later. But the conflict in Vietnam was raging and he ended up in the U.S. Army that same year.
“It was a life-changing experience for me to see real, abject poverty and hardship in these war-torn villages and communities,” said Dr. Korey, who served as a chief medical officer and a member of the Special Forces Airborne Division.
“Coming from a background where I always enjoyed the basic necessities of life, it was an intense experience that changed my thinking, forever. It made me so appreciative for everything that I had.”
After completing his military service, Dr. Korey worked for a few years in Jacksonville, but found the big- city life wanting. A general surgeon acquaintance invited him to Brevard County with a promise: Come here for six months and you’ll love it. “That turned out to be the case,” Dr. Korey said.
During his 40-year span in healthcare, Dr. Korey has witnessed vast changes. Chief among the many advances is medical technology, particularly laparoscopic surgery and robotics.
“The surgical stapler was the hot technology when I started out,” he said.
“Today, technology advancements are creating so much more precision and the opportunities for faster healing.”
Paul Thompson, M.D., a colleague of Dr. Korey’s for 30 years, said that he was always able to discuss challenging cases with Dr. Korey and share their insights.
“It was reassuring to be in practice with a surgeon of not only his caliber, but of his compassion. His patient care was exemplary,” Dr. Thompson said.
Another Surgical Associates of Brevard colleague, H. Drexel Dobson III, M.D., said that Dr. Korey will be sorely missed.
“He touched so many lives and healed so many patients with such skill and integrity,” Dr. Dobson said.
“He was, and will continue to be, a role model for everyone here.”
Dr. Korey also reflected on Wuesthoff Health System, its modernization, expansion through the years and role in the community.
“I’ve witnessed first-hand the growth of the hospitals, the addition of state-of-the-art technologies and its world-class services,” he said.
“Wuesthoff has always been so responsive to the care needs of the community.”
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