Local physician marks diamond anniversary
Dr. John F. McIntyre, who recently celebrated his 75th birthday, has been practicing medicine in Wyoming County for more than 40 years.
During his tenure serving as a physician at Tyler Memorial Hospital in Tunkhannock, McIntyre has delivered upwards of 3,000 babies, assisted countless local residents by catering to their medical needs, and, above all, developed a strong connection with both the people and the area that he calls home.
McIntyre was inspired to pursue medicine when his first daughter was born prematurely.
Witnessing doctors do everything in their power to help a newborn through a rough situation early in its life is what motivated him to leave the U.S. Navy, where he served aboard a ship for three years, and enter medical school.
Now, more than four decades later, that desire to guide patients along the path of medical recovery still motivates the doctor, who continues to practice medicine at his office just west of Meshoppen.
Born in Arkansas, McIntyre first came to northeast Pennsylvania during an 8-week hiatus in the summer of 1969.
McIntyre’s wife had family living at Harveys Lake, and during the trip he took the initiative to look for a job at one of the area’s hospitals. After being told that there was nothing available at both Community Medical Center in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre General, he eventually landed a job as an orderly at Tyler Memorial Hospital, where he befriended many local doctors and medical professionals.
After finishing medical school at the University of Arkansas in 1973, McIntyre returned to Tyler as a full-time orderly for just $2 an hour.
What the job lacked in salary, however, it made up for in experience, and, for an up-and-coming doctor, experience is invaluable. “Tyler was the perfect place for me,” McIntyre said, “not only because I loved this area, but because the hospital was small enough for me to pursue almost anything that interested me in terms of medicine. You could deliver babies, you could see patients in the ICU, you could take care of acutely ill patients, and you work in pediatrics. There weren’t a lot of specialists at that time, so it was the perfect place to start for someone who wanted to be a well-rounded doctor.”
Today, McIntyre certainly is a well-rounded doctor.
During his tenure in Wyoming County he has developed a reputation as one of the area’s leading diagnosticians and has spent a great deal of time as an emergency room physician. He also has quite the impressive track record when it comes to delivering babies. When Tyler closed its obstetrics department in 2008, McIntyre had delivered nearly 3,000 babies, a feat that, by its nature, has made McIntyre somewhat of a local celebrity. “I get pictures of the kids going through school,” McIntyre says with a smile, “I get greeted in the store or walking down the street. People run up to me and say, ‘remember little Joey?’ and show me pictures… it really is amazing.”
McIntyre’s strong rapport with the community is also due to the fact that he has served many generations of Wyoming County families, something for which he takes great pride.
“The other day a woman came up to me who was in her 70s,” he said, “and she remembered that I once took care of her father. I love the people of this area, and I like knowing that I have been helping them and helping their families, in some cases, for decades.
Regarding service to the community, McIntyre said that the most valuable thing has always been “just getting to know and develop relationships with all these people.”
“I enjoy knowing that we have helped someone’s Grandma and Grandpa,” he continued, “or that we brought somebody through in an emergency situation that might not have otherwise made it.”
Thankfully, the success that McIntyre has experienced throughout his career is a reflection of the empathy and professionalism with which all of Tyler Memorial’s medical professionals operate.
“There are a lot of primary care doctors in Tunkhannock,” McIntyre says, “and they all have an aura of caring about them. Everyone who comes here knows that we generally want to help and support them, and that is something we are all very proud of.” Compassion and a desire to help are qualities desirable of every doctor, and should be valued as cornerstones of the profession.
When asked if he has any advice for area students who are looking to enter the medical field, McIntyre said, “Get as much training as you can afford to get, because medicine is so complicated. Make sure you get very good basic training in your medical school program, and pick a good residency program. Read a lot and work hard to become as knowledgeable as you can to be able to do your job well.”
As far as the future is concerned, McIntyre said he plans to continue to see patients at his office for the next several years.
“Continuing to help these great people,” he said, “I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend the last years of my career.”
McIntyre said he also wished to offer thanks to all those people who have helped make both his life and career in this area so meaningful.
“I would just like to thank all the residents of Wyoming County,” he said, “for showing their support to me and being so generous and understanding with us. Thank you for being my patients.”