Dr. Michael Ford has seen many states and all kinds of patients. Born and raised in Russellville, Dr. Ford followed his interest in science to a career in family medicine with CHI St. Vincent in Little Rock.

Q: Where did you go to school?

A: I graduated from Arkansas Tech University with degrees in mathematics and chemistry. Afterward, I married and moved to Little Rock where I attended the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. I graduated there in 1982 then served in the U.S. Navy for six years. The first three of those years I spent at a naval hospital in Pensacola, Florida. That was where I began my residency in family medicine.

For my last three years in the U.S. Navy, my wife Shari and I moved to Cherry Point, North Carolina where I served as a family physician with the U.S. Marine Corps. Air Wing. When that was done, Shari and I moved back to Arkansas where we lived in Arkadelphia. There, we raised three sons, and I was in private practice with three other physicians for 25 years.

Q: What made you decide to join CHI St. Vincent and move to Little Rock?

A: Shari and I moved to Little Rock in 2013 primarily to be closer to our immediate family. I chose to be in family medicine because of the variety of medical conditions I deal with on a daily basis. I also enjoy the personal relationships a doctor develops with patients. I have been with CHI St. Vincent for almost three years now, and I like the administrative support this organization provides me. The most important aspect for my medical practice, however, is a strong network of specialty and primary care physicians, which is part of the CHI System.

Q: What is the most challenging part of being a physician?

A: The most challenging part of my practice is the variety of conditions I see. It is also very challenging to help patients with severe illnesses navigate a complex medical system.

Q: What is the most helpful thing a patient can do to help you diagnose him or her properly?

A: An accurate past medical history, accurate list of medications and family health history help me tremendously when assessing what symptoms a patient is experiencing.

Q: What one piece of advice would you give to someone to improve his or her health?

A: There is generally a lot of health advice I can give a patient, but the one bit of advice that can make long-term changes in longevity is to stop smoking.