An Artist at Work
A Fort Worth native, Chad was perplexed on where his college days would be spent. He looked and visited several large state universities, but his mother persuaded him to attend Abilene Christian University. And, it didn’t hurt Chad’s older brother, Kevin, had already attended ACU. The bigger challenge facing Chad was the decision of what exactly he was going to study while as a Wildcat.
“I thought about medical school, but after being honest with myself I realized studying wasn’t my best skill and I would need better skills to embark on as a successful medical school student,” explains Chad. “I had a few hospital visits in high school thanks to a football injury and I was intrigued with physical therapy, plus I was becoming more familiar with the role of a PT thanks to my brother, Kevin, who was a Physical Therapist. I eventually followed in his footsteps.”
Chad’s time at ACU was more impactful than just his studies. Chad also met his wife, Summer, while at ACU. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in Biology, Chad and Summer moved to El Paso so Chad could begin PT school. It was during his graduate studies Chad was able to truly learn how to study and adopt those principles for his coursework.
With his PT license in hand, Chad returned to Fort Worth for a six-year period as a PT with Metroplex Sports Care (with his brother Kevin, and sister Teressa). Eventually Chad and Summer made the difficult but rewarding decision to return to her hometown of Abilene. After reviewing his opportunities, Chad took a position with Hendrick Medical Center and Summer eventually joined the faculty of Abilene Independent School District.
“My experiences in school and professionally have been full of ups and downs. However, they have provided me the ideal foundation for my medical career. Oddly enough, my experience at Hendrick exposed me to the culture and team at Bone & Joint even before I thought about joining here,” says Chad.
It would be a bit longer before Chad transitioned as an ABJ team member. With some research and wanting to learn more about medicine, Chad applied to the Hardin Simmons University Physical Assistant school and was accepted. The decision to go back to school at age 40 and with 3 kids was not easy. But with the support of his family, and a great deal of discipline, Chad graduated in the first class of the HSU Physician Assistant program.
Then in early 2020, Chad joined the Abilene Bone & Joint team. When asked what has surprised Chad the most about being a part of Abilene Bone & Joint, he answers strong and confidently the perceptive he gleaned from his time at Hendrick has been exactly what he has seen firsthand in his time with ABJ.
“Not only is the entire team a great provider of orthopedic services, the people here are down to earth, compassionate people. It’s just so comforting to learn firsthand what I had heard and seen from a different perspective, was exactly how it truly is,” explains Chad. Our patients, and our community need to know every single person on the ABJ team has their absolute best interest in mind – from the ladies at the front desk upon check-in, all the way to those in billing. The culture here is compassionate, caring and, make no mistake about it, real!”
Chad’s sentiments of what he enjoys most about his role with patients echoes what his fellow team members say, and that’s having a front row seat to watch the progress of a patient’s journey.
Chad works closest with Dr. Derek Padon, and believes Dr. Padon is very easy going, approachable, and is liked by his patients. Regardless if Dr. Padon and Chad are in the operating room, or reviewing the development of a patient recovery, Chad feels they make a good team and complement each other’s strengths.
When not working, Chad and Summer stay busy with their children – Ava, age 16, Pierson, age 13 and Sadie, age 9. Active members of Highland Church of Christ, the Walters’ family also enjoys traveling, snow skiing and other outdoor activities. But, if Chad’s not with his family, you might find him mountain biking or backpacking.
When asked if he believes any of his kids will follow in his footsteps of medicine, Chad says he would be thrilled because it’s such a great field, but in all honesty, he doesn’t think it will happen.
“If at the dinner table the topic becomes anything surgery related, they all boo and hiss at me,” laughs Chad. “However, right now my daughter Ava seems pretty enamored with television’s Gray’s Anatomy. I have to remind her that’s Hollywood’s version of the medical world, and it’s not very realistic. So, if she decides a career in medicine is in her future, it’ll be because of Gray’s and not me!”
As with everyone in the medical field – regardless of which aspect – has the need to unwind and find something therapeutic for themselves, and Chad has found his. Most would be surprised to learn Chad is an artist and enjoys drawing portraits of famous people. “Not only would it be a surprise for people to learn, but I draw upside down. I learned drawing upside-down forces the eye to have the advantage of the intricate shapes within the project or person, and not the entire being,” he explains in detail. “It’s a characteristic I use each time I pick up the pencil and begin my work.”
We bet Chad sees his work at Abilene Bone & Joint as artist’s work, too.