House Calls

SUM 2019

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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40 { summer 2019 } h o u s e c a l l s picture of health doctors, but the medical community didn't have many answers for her," he says. "That sparked my interest in medicine—I wanted to know more about why she was sick and why they weren't able to help her." Those musings developed into determination to be the person finding the answers. "I've always had a strong desire to help people, and I saw medicine as a way I could serve people and solve complex problems," he adds. A similar wish to serve, and a desire to make his own way in the world, led Dr. Watson to the U.S. Army. After learning about the military's Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) from a friend during his undergraduate years at Clemson, where he majored in chemistry and health sciences, something clicked. "I liked the idea of serving my country and coming out of school with no debt," he explains. With the scholarship secured, Dr. Watson started at the Medical University of South Carolina, where he made several life-shaping decisions. He settled on gastroenterology as a specialty: "I like that it involves procedures as well as the chance to build long-term relationships with patients," he notes. During that time, he also became a Christian. "That changed what I was working for and gave me a peace that is with me to this day," he says. Another turning point? Falling hard for med-school sweetheart Theresa, who he wed during their fourth year. In the following years, Dr. Watson completed a residency at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, followed by a GI fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, Theresa completed a fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology before putting medicine on hold to spend more time with the couple's four children: Kade, now 10; Nya, 8; Kai, 6; and Maria, 4. Though he and Theresa loved their time in Hawaii (their black Lab's name, Maka, which is Hawaiian for black, is a tip of the hat to their time there), when Dr. Watson got off active duty in 2015, the couple felt pulled back to Charleston. A job offer with Lowcountry Gastroenterology Associates helped them make the leap, and the couple and their brood are now happily settled in Mount Pleasant. For the Watsons, family life in the Lowcountry is active—full of bike rides over the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, jogs around their neighborhood, and baseball, soccer, and swim for the kids. Dr. Watson (who still serves in the Reserves) is required to pass two annual physical fitness tests for the military, which helps motivate him to power through regular workouts. He stresses that exercise doesn't have to be extravagant. "When I'm in the hospital, I make a goal to never use the elevator, and I park as far from the building as possible to get more walking in," he says. "Little things that get your blood pumping throughout the day are better than nothing." In addition to heart-pumping exercise, good nutrition helps Dr. Watson feel his best. Though he didn't start out with healthy eating habits—"I grew up on frozen pizzas, Hamburger Helper, and Chef Boyardee," he says—that changed in med school when he began to learn more about how nutrition and health go hand-in-hand. Today, he and his family stick mostly to whole foods and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. "My wife is the real cook in the family, but I do a lot of grilling. I like to make chicken, fish, zucchini, squash, and sweet potatoes," he says. When rushing out the door on busy mornings, he'll often reach for a smoothie packed with fruit and leafy greens. Which makes sense: superfoods to power a real-world superhero. Though his service-based lifestyle is indeed heroic, Dr. Watson says that he too benefits. "I get a lot of joy out of helping other people," he explains. He's also quick to credit his faith for any and all good works he's accomplished. "I would not be nearly as successful as I am without God in my life." NATIONAL TREASURE: (above) Dr. Joshua Watson with his wife, Theresa, and their four children. (top right) Dr. Watson in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2013 performing an oath of oce for an Army medic. (bottom right) Dr. Watson checking out endoscopy equipment, also in Afghanistan in 2013. P H O T O G R A P H S 2 , A R M Y C O U R T E S Y O F D R . W A T S O N } } "I've always had a strong desire to help people, and I saw medicine as a way I could serve people and solve complex problems." —Dr. Joshua Watson

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