Déjà Vu For a Proctor Hospital ER Doctor

By Gina Ford

July 26, 2010 Updated Jul 26, 2010 at 11:01 PM CDT

Doctor James Brown and his medical group just landed a contract to work at Proctor Hospital but this is not his first time working in the Proctor ER.

"Actually I came here about 24 year ago as a registered nurse in the Emergency Department," said Brown.

He said coming from Havana Illinois, that was a big deal. "Very few people in a small town end up progressing to becoming physicians. I mean few people go to college, most don't."

But as an ER Nurse in the 80s, he had the opportunity to work closely with doctors at Proctor who encouraged him to pursue his dream of becoming one too.

"It kind of made me realize that gosh, maybe I can do this, whereas before I thought, eh I'm not smart enough, I don't think I can take these classes," said Brown.

After completing his undergrad at ISU while working as an ER nurse, Brown went to medical school and became a physician. Almost 20-years to the week after leaving the North Peoria hospital, he is back, and working with familiar faces.

"Pretty weird. Actually the first day that he came in, he brought his old name tag in...it's all yellow." said, Assistant ER Nurse Manager, Maggi Ballard.

The nurse said she used to see -then nurse Brown- years ago when she was the second shift charge nurse and he was third shift.

"It's exciting, I walk in the first day and I hear, 'Hi Jim' 'hi Jim,' and it was like, oh this is great," said the ER doctor.

And with his nursing background, Ballard said Brown is not your average physician.

"He also pitches in. He has no problem getting a glass of water or a wash cloth for somebody."

It's a case of déjà vu for Dr. Brown and many of the nurses, picking up old friendships from two decades ago. With Brown's surprise return, the ER nurse said she will not be shocked if the coincidences keep coming.

"Maybe we'll end up in the some nursing home. Although he'll probably own it by then," Ballard said.

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