DOBSON — A local doctor was honored for outshining his colleagues — all of his colleagues in the state.
Dr. Jason Stopyra, a medical doctor who works for Surry County, was named the North Carolina Doctor of the Year by the N.C. Medical Society.
At its most recent meeting, the Surry County Board of Commissioners honored Stopyra, presenting him with a certificate of recognition for his achievement.
Stopyra works full time as an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Health Medical Center in Winston-Salem. He also serves as Emergency Services medical director for Surry and Randolph counties and as the medical director at the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center.
According to the medical society’s website, more than 300 doctors from around the state were nominated for the honor. Interested people voted through an online system, casting votes for 10 finalists. Stopyra came out on the top of the field.
One nominator wrote, “His compassion and care toward all patients is outstanding. He is a great emergency department physician and a great mentor to anyone interested in any part of the medical field.”
More than 11,000 votes were cast, according to the society’s announcement. Stopyra received 3,300.
“It really is a tremendous honor,” remarked Stopyra.
“It helps showcase the importance of a physician’s relationship with their patients,” explained Stopyra. “It’s allowed us to spread a lot of things, including thoughts, ideas and financial aid.”
Along with the recognition, the medical society also hands out a $5,000 award. According to the organization, Stopyra has decided to split the money between five families struggling with illnesses.
“Those families could really use a little extra help,” noted Stopyra in an interview.
Stopyra said he isn’t a Surry County resident, but his ties to the county were formed more than a decade ago.
“I started my relationship with Surry County in 2002,” explained the doctor. “I spent the great majority of my career at Northern Hospital (of Surry County).”
Stopyra said he and other officials founded a Surry County branch of Project Lazarus, an organization committed to stopping deaths resulting from prescription drug overdoses.
He said it’s been an honor to work with the county’s “great leaders,” something he plans to continue doing for many years in his capacities with the county.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.