“We weren’t planning on moving to Amarillo until the opportunity presented itself,” says Amarillo Surgical Group surgeon Dr. Sam Kirkendall. At the time, Dr. Kirkendall was living in Dallas training at Parkland Memorial Hospital. “Amarillo Surgical Group reached out to my mentors, who recommended me for an opportunity to join their practice.” Dr. Kirkendall and his wife considered the opportunity with Amarillo Surgical Group being a good fit for his practice and a right move for their young family.
Dr. Kirkendall says he immediately felt welcomed when he arrived for his interview. “When I met the physicians, it was very easy to get along with everyone,” he adds. “I had a very low-key, low-stress meeting with the hospital administration. I not only met physicians at Amarillo Surgical Group, but I also met several physicians at BSA Hospital. I could tell it was a congenial group – both providers and administrators – who worked cooperatively to reach common goals.”
Fairly quickly Dr. Kirkendall saw the benefit in moving to Amarillo and joining the growing practice. “First, Amarillo is a place where patients are very appreciative of their providers,” he says. “It is also a place where you can grow your practice quickly. Amarillo is a good-sized city. It has the amenities of a large city you need, but without the big-city traffic and need to travel long distances.”
Personally, there were positives Dr. Kirkendall considered of this opportunity in Amarillo. “My wife is from here, and we have family here, but it would be a great place to live regardless,” he shares. “There is an excellent public school system in Amarillo. My wife and I both had a public education and wanted the same for our children. Most of the physicians I met said their children went to the public schools. In Dallas, most people sent their children to private school.”
Life outside of work is enriched, Dr. Kirkendall says, by all of the possibilities nearby. “You’re a couple minutes from great places to go hunting or fishing, which we do on most weekends, or you’re close enough to the mountains in Colorado to go camping or skiing for a weekend trip,” he says. “If you want to stay in town there are great restaurants, farmer’s markets, breweries, concerts, the Amarillo Botanical Gardens, the Amarillo Symphony, a theater troupe, and the Amarillo Opera.”
The opportunity and culture at BSA Health System, along with a family-friendly and active lifestyle, made the move to Amarillo the best decision for Dr. Kirkendall and his family. “BSA has all the medical facilities of a comprehensive health system within a collegial work environment across multiple specialties,” Dr. Kirkendall explains. “There are opportunities for rapid advancement. Amarillo is a great place to live and raise a family.”