Meet the Physician: Dr. Patricia Mahoney

Emanuel Medical Center recently welcomed Dr. Patricia Mahoney as the newest member of Emanuel Surgical Associates. A board certified general surgeon with two subspecialties in breast and laparoendoscopy, she hails from Fulton County Medical Center in Ohio.

Dr. Mahoney shares three kids—a 15-year-old and twin 12-year old-boys—with her husband, a service member retired from the U.S. Navy.

She says she grew up a “railroad kid” in small towns of Montana and South Dakota. After undergrad at Creighton University in Omaha, Dr. Mahoney attended the University of South Dakota for medical school, trained in Cleveland for two years, and graduated from her surgical residency at the University of South Carolina–Columbia.

When asked how she ended up in the medical field, Dr. Mahoney explains that as young as 4-years-old, she knew what she wanted to do. Her mom was an emergency medical technologist, and Dr. Mahoney was inspired by her mother, often helping herself to her teaching books.

“I just wanted to help people,” Dr. Mahoney said. “On a bad day, I just see one or two patients and feel like everything is right with the world again. I get personal satisfaction from making someone’s quality of life better.”

Dr. Mahoney recalled a formative conversation she had with a stranger years ago.

“I was on a plane and reading one of my books when the passenger next to me asked if I was studying to be a doctor. I explained that I was already a doctor but had a test coming up soon. I was met with a surprising tirade of how I was wasting time and money in the field.”

Mahoney then made a list of her accomplishments in the last 24 hours, which included being on a team that performed a successful kidney transplant and a heart surgery. This was affirmative to both a stranger and the young doctor that Mahoney had “the best job in the world.”

For Dr. Mahoney and her family, the move to Swainsboro wasn’t just about a job. She explained, “I was specifically trying to get further south. It’s generally closer to some of our family, but there are other reasons. We just like good honest people—and have found that here in the South. They treat each other kindly and neighborly here. Also, I like to raise my kids in small towns.”

Dr. Mahoney’s family plans to join her here in the coming year and are excitedly looking at the Swainsboro school system for the boys.

Retaining all of Dr. Headley’s former office, she has found the staff to be “welcoming and warm” and looks forward to the professional relationship they will share. They’ve begun renovations to the office such as painting, installing new floors, and getting new furniture.

Thus far, Swainsboro has been entirely welcoming to the new surgeon.

“I really enjoy it. I like the people here and the work environment. All the physicians I have worked with so far are very good and do what’s best for their patients.”

Dr. Mahoney is excited to interact with her patients and wants to bring a standard of honesty and transparency in her practice. They can always expect an honest assessment and for Dr. Mahoney to “tell ‘em straight.”

“I need good consent. My patients have to understand exactly what is happening to them,” she said. “I tell them in a language they understand.” She says she is intentional about making sure her office is friendly, low-key, and low-stress. Further, she makes a point to talk in plain language to her patients.

Dr. Mahoney hopes to give a positive experience to patients in the community and is thrilled to join the community.

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