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Resident Spotlight - Steve Hotz, MD

Dr. Steve Hotz feels right at home at Phoebe. He was born at the hospital on Christmas Eve 1988 into a family with an amazing history of healthcare service in south Georgia. “I actually came early, and my dad was on call,” Hotz said. “He had to rush through patients and barely made it to my delivery.”

His dad is Dr. James Hotz, the inspiration for the book and movie Doc Hollywood who helped found Albany Area Primary Health Care (AAPHC) nearly 40 years ago to meet the medical needs of underserved rural south Georgians. His mom, Trish, is a nurse and paramedic who is the Emergency Medical Services Program Director at Albany State University. “I definitely hear every day when I introduce myself, ‘Oh I know your dad, or I used to work with your mom.’ It’s not intimidating.  It just shows how many people my dad has touched and how many people my mom has taught,” Hotz said. “I grew up knowing their mission of quality healthcare for everyone. They’re doing great things, and that’s something I really want to be a part of.”

Hotz has three older siblings who are also practicing internal medicine physicians in Rome, GA; Greensboro, GA; and Indianapolis, IN, but the youngest Dr. Hotz wanted to come back home to practice medicine. “It means a lot that I’m actually able to help people in my hometown,” he said.

After earning a degree in microbiology from the University of Georgia, Hotz attended medical school at Mercer University. During his third year there, he completed a family medicine clerkship in Albany where he got a firsthand look at the Phoebe Family Medicine Residency (PFMR). “I saw how everyone enjoyed going to work, and I thought it would be a good place for me,” Hotz said. “Just talking to (Program Director Dr. George Fredrick) and other residents made me feel really welcome. I knew it was a place I could enjoy and excel.”

In June, Phoebe welcomed Dr. Hotz and six other members of the PFMR Class of 2020 to Albany. Hotz said they quickly developed a strong bond with each other and the other residency classes. “I feel like we’re closer, with interns up through third year residents, than most programs are,” he said. “It’s a family atmosphere here. I try to talk to the medical students and try to make them feel welcome just as the residents did for me. It’s a place that you’ll enjoy, and you’ll definitely do a lot of work and a lot of learning.”

Hotz doesn’t plan to leave Albany when he graduates from the residency program. In fact, he hopes to work side-by-side with his dad. “The next step is to go into outpatient family medicine, and I would really like to join my dad’s practice at Albany Area Primary Health Care. I think it makes dad and mom happy that I decided to come home. I have a feeling if I actually start working for AAPHC, they would be completely ecstatic.” And more generations of patients would be lucky to benefit from the Hotz family legacy in southwest Georgia.