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Celebrating Our People – Meet Dr. Tyler Holley

September 14, 2023 Posted in: Patients & Providers  2 minute read time

Fulfilling a Need with Rural Medicine

Growing up in Kentucky, Tyler Holley, MD, saw a need for rural health care practitioners through the eyes of his role model, a rural medicine doctor. Now a general surgeon at Flaget Memorial Hospital, Dr. Holley is fulfilling his calling. 

“We were good family friends with a local surgeon who practiced rural medicine, and I always looked up to him as a role model,” Dr. Holley said. “I saw from an early age what it was like to be a small town surgeon in a rural area.”

The road to becoming a surgeon was not traditional. Dr. Holley said his other role model, his high school math teacher, showed him he could pursue medical school through the mathematical route instead of a more traditional biology route. Dr. Holley graduated with a bachelors in biomedical engineering and then went to medical school.

“I had multiple career aspirations as a kid; at one point I wanted to be a pastor then I thought about being a math teacher because math clicked for me,” Dr. Holley said. “By the end of high school, I knew being a physician was what I was called to do. I knew I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else.”

Dr. Holley joined CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – General Surgery three years ago. In choosing general surgery, Dr. Holley said he was mesmerized by the operating room the first time he scrubbed in as an anesthesia tech while working during college.

Dr. Tyler Holley

Since then, he said he’s seen how small, rural communities have a distinct need to access high quality health care. It’s what called him to Bardstown.

“From the moment I walked in the door, I could sense that everyone here was not only happy to work here but there’s also a strong connection to the community,” Dr. Holley said. “The patients we take care of are the family members or friends of the people we work with. Almost on a daily basis, I get a call or text message from someone about how I’m operating on their aunt or cousin.” 

A Collaborative Effort Towards High Quality Care

But he said doing the work he does goes beyond himself; Dr. Holley, who was named CHI Saint Joseph Health 2022 Physician of the Year, gives credit to the caregivers around him and his own family for helping him serve patients.

“The care we provide goes further than just me,” Dr. Holley said. “I was very flattered to be named Physician of the Year, but I’m a small gear in the machine. Providing care to our patients is more of a team sport, and I’m just one of the players. The surgery department, my office staff,  and all of our caregivers who make a difference for our patients are also deserving of this recognition.”

“And my family really allows me to be the kind of doctor I am,” Dr. Holley continued. “My wife, Sadie, and our children are incredibly supportive and have made significant sacrifices so I can provide the care that I do. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without their tolerance and patience. They make me a better doctor.”

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