Published on February 11, 2013

Florida Doctor's Local Legend: A Profile of R. David Heekin

By: Cheryl Lock North Florida Doctor | February 2013

Heekin Local Legend

Welcome to Florida Doctor’s Local Legend series, where we’ll introduce you to a different doctor each month. These doctors are pillars in their communities, raising the bar when it comes to patient care and innovative medicine. We’ll be asking them questions about their work, their background … and of course a little bit about their personal lives, as well.

R. David Heekin, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a total joint replacement specialist and founder of Heekin Orthopedic Specialists. The doctor, who was born and raised in Jacksonville, is a husband, father, entrepreneur, volunteer and graduate of one of the most prestigious schools in the country. In an effort to get to know a little bit more about Dr. Heekin, and to find out what makes him tick, both professionally and personally, we asked him a few questions.

Here’s what he had to say.

So what is your medical education background, exactly?

I graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and earned my medical degree from the Uniform Services University of Health Sciences School of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. I completed my adult reconstructive surgery fellowship at Anderson Orthopaedic Research Institute in Alexandria, Virginia, and served as the Chief of Total Joint Replacement Surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. I am now the medical director of St. Vincent’s Orthopedic Center of Excellence.

What’s your family like?

I have three children—two boys and a girl—with my wife of 36 years.

What do you love about what you do?

The knowledge that I have restored mobility and improved the quality of life for my patients is by far the most rewarding gift.

What was a meaningful patient experience you had?

I am 150 percent dedicated to my patients and their care, and I expect everyone I surround myself with to be and do the exact same. Giving back movement and quality of life to my patients is not only my passion, it’s my entire life. A particular experience that stands out, however, is a former teenage patient of mine with some particularly amazing musical talents who had been confined to a wheelchair with congenital hip defects. This young man’s sole hope was to walk across the stage during his high school graduation to accept his degree. Post-procedure, not only was he able to walk across his high school stage, but he is now fully functional and able to walk without any assistance at all. Since then, he has continued to participate in almost every event hosted by our practice and has been a huge supporter of ours, as we are of him!

We also asked a colleague of Dr. Heekin’s—Kenneth Jones, CEO of Heekin Orthopedic Specialists—what exactly it is that makes him such a local legend.

Read the full article in North Florida Doctor Magazine.

(Page 24)