With roots in Beeville, Texas, and growing up as a son of a family practice physician, Dr. David Stark’s college career didn’t begin with a focus on the medical field. His participation on the track and team provided Dr. Stark exposure and insight into a possible sports medicine career. But it was later in his college career when Dr. Stark considered pursuing medical school.
“Even as I began my rotations, I was certain I’d focus on family practice; yet I really enjoyed the orthopedic cases,” explains Dr. Stark – one of seven orthopedic surgeons of Hendrick’s Abilene Bone & Joint.
Fresh out of medical school and residency, Dr. Start began private practice in Weatherford, Texas. He and his wife of 37 years, Ruth, made Weatherford home. After making several trips to Abilene for professional meetings, Dr. Stark’s relationship with Doctors Shannon Holloway and Shannon Cooke strengthened. (NOTE: Dr. Holloway was a surgeon on the Abilene Bone & Joint team before his passing).
After 15 years in Weatherford, Doctors Holloway and Cooke approached Dr. Stark about joining the ABJ team. The Starks liked Abilene, its outdoor activities, and the pace of life the area offered, so it seemed like an ideal transition for the entire Stark family.
It’s readily apparent that Dr. Stark is enjoying his medical career – and Abilene. When asked what he enjoys most about his work, his answer is quick and concise.
“The experience of helping people is paramount to what I do. The influence of my father and watching him care – and enjoy – for his patients have made an enormous impact on my life, and most importantly, my work,” states Dr. Stark.
The benefits of living in Abilene also play a vital role in Dr. Stark and his family. The Stark’s now grown children and grandchildren are all calling Abilene home. But Abilene’s ‘small city or big town’ feel, coupled with the great outdoor activities, is what makes it an excellent fit for the family’s ranching and hunting hobbies, an interest for the entire Stark family. Dr. Stark is active in his hobby of refurbishing vintage airplanes. The Stark family benefits from his interest in restoring the planes – they get to fly with him in the aircraft following the doctor’s hard work.
Currently, Dr. Stark is the director of sports medicine for Hendrick Medical Center. Dr. Stark stays busy as the team physician for Abilene Christian University’s (ACU) athletic program.
“I enjoy working with the athletes and athletic trainers and watching them progress in their respective roles. It’s a great relationship for all of us,” explains Dr. Stark when asked about his role at ACU.
There’s not much to be surprised about when getting to know Dr. Stark – even when asked numerous ways. Dr. Stark calls himself “pretty transparent” – and we tend to agree with that assessment.