By Cassady Rosenblum
Dr. Edwin Rader, 68, hung up his stethoscope Tuesday, August 31, after a career in family medicine spanning more than three decades. Rader, who worked at Mountain Top Health Center of Preston-Taylor Community Health Centers, came to Davis in 1988 after graduating with honors from West Virginia University School Of Medicine in 1985.
Since then, he has been a pillar of the community said Dan Bucher, Director of Development at Cortland Acres, who has known Rader since he first arrived in Tucker County. “I have the greatest respect for Dr. Rader,” Bucher said. “He took a real personal interest in his patients. I have seen him repeatedly call to follow up and make sure they’re doing okay. That’s very unusual.”
Reflecting on his career in Tucker County, Dr. Rader said he is most proud of helping his patients manage their chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. “I feel good knowing we improved the quality of their life, and prolonged their life,” he said.
Dr. Rader did not always know he wanted to be a doctor. A native of Charleston who moved to Missouri when he was 13, he first studied Civil Engineering at University of Missouri before moving to Elkins in 1976. After working as a civil engineer in Elkins for five years, he said he was motivated to go back to school for medicine after watching his father’s health deteriorate. “My dad didn’t always receive the best treatment, and I guess I wondered: could you do anything different,” he explained. Additionally, Dr. Rader noted, by that point in his life, he had overcome the shyness of his youth, and was ready for a more people-oriented career.
One thing Dr. Rader did know from an early age: he always wanted to live in rural West Virginia. His parents were from Pendleton County, and growing up, Dr. Rader says his fondest memories were of the summers he spent on his grandfather’s and uncle’s farm. “I just love the people here,” he said.
He also loves the outdoor activities a rural lifestyle affords, and is an avid mountain biker, cross-country skier, and white-water enthusiast. With his new-found free time, Dr. Rader said he’s looking forward to maintaining the local bike trails, as well as spending time with his wife, Dianne, and sons Seth, 26, and Nate, 21.
As for his patients, Dr. Rader said, they will be left in the best of hands. Dr. Sara Chua will assume his practice, meaning she will continue to see his patients at Mountain Top Health Center. “She is a good fit,” Dr. Rader said. “She’s been working in this region for many years, and her father was a well-respected urologist in the area. She knows all the referrals and consults,” he assured.
Dr. Chua may well have her work cut out for her: she assumes Dr. Rader’s practice in the midst of a surge of new COVID-19 cases in the county. “I strongly encourage people to get vaccinated and take basic precautions,” said Dr. Rader as he himself closed out the final days of his career working from home in quarantine.