John Holcomb joined UT in September 2008 after serving 23 years in the Army. His medical career was inevitable. “My mom has a picture when I was five wearing a stethoscope and checking on my little brother,” he says. “And I always liked science.”
During high school in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, Holcomb worked part-time on a factory assembly line. “The guys there told me to study hard so that I didn’t end up working there for the rest of my life.”
He took their advice, and later joined the Army to pay for medical school; he did his surgical residency in El Paso. As part of his Army commitment, he was a general surgeon in Somalia during the Black Hawk Down incident.
Holcomb and his wife, an endocrinologist and UT Professor of Medicine, have a 12-year-old son. Holcomb was certified in Scuba in 1975, and is now getting recertified again with his son. “It’s absolutely peaceful, being in the water.”
According to Holcomb, there are no car “accidents.” He believes that very few people who drive safely, while sober and while wearing a seat belt have accidents. “When you look at it that way, ‘accidents’ are really predictable.”
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