Healthcare is a family affair for the Cecil family. Dr. John Cecil grew up in a household of caregivers. His father was a pharmacist and his mother was an ER nurse. “I learned from both of my parents the importance of treating people right,” Dr. Cecil explains. “My dad was a pharmacist at a chain pharmacy. After several years, he opened his own pharmacy: Jack’s Pharmacy. He was often asked ‘aren’t you scared of the competition?’ and his reply was always the same, ‘They can’t out-nice me.’ I saw his kindness firsthand as a teenager when I helped in his pharmacy. My mom always drilled into me those same values – including the importance of treating nurses and other colleagues with kindness and respect.”
Six years ago, Dr. Cecil opened the doors of his own practice, The Cecil Clinic. His clinic is founded on the principles he learned from his parents and is operated on two basic philosophies. The first: “it’s fun to be kind.” The second: “People value caring over curing,” (though the goal of his staff is always to achieve both).
“I like to do things a little differently sometimes. I was ready to out on my own. Most independent providers find that difficult. Someone has to help with the business side while the physician focuses on the delivery of medicine. I’m lucky to have my wife, Vicky, to help me with that.”
Vicky and John have been married for forty years. In addition to serving as the matriarch of the Cecil family, Vicky Cecil holds an MBA and serves as Dr. Cecil’s in-house accountant. “She keeps my business running.” Vickie is quiet but the pride she has in her husband and her children is evident from the moment you meet her. She and John have four children – all of whom work in the healthcare industry.
“I didn’t expect my children to go into healthcare,” says Vicky. “They wanted to be athletes and superheroes. It was during their college years that they decided they were interested in that. Two of my boys work in the business side of the industry. One works for Humana and the other for UK Healthcare. Two of my children chose Paducah as their home. My son, Clay, is a Pharmacist at Strawberry Hills. Our daughter, Caitlyn, is a Pediatrician here at The Cecil Clinic.”
Caitlyn explained what led her to a career in medicine and why she chose to return home after medical school: “It was great growing up having a pediatrician as a father. That’s what drew me into medicine more than anything. I grew up with a dad who loves his job. He loved taking care of kids. He came home from work happy. I wanted to be like my dad and have a career that I loved. I wanted to love my job as much as my dad loved his job. Coming back to Paducah was not something I originally planned on. It was the family business that drew me back to Paducah. I couldn’t be happier to be back.”
Clay’s reasons for returning to Paducah are similar. “Strawberry Hills Pharmacy gave me the chance to practice community pharmacy in the area where I grew up. I love getting to provide healthcare in the area with my dad. People always have a story of how my dad helped them in a specific way. Parents have shared stories of how he saved their child’s life. I’m fortunate to get to hear these great stories as I work in the field I enjoy so greatly.”
Dr. Cecil has no plans of retirement anytime soon. “It’s the best thing ever when you cannot wait to get to work every morning. I set an alarm every day, but it rarely goes off. Having my daughter here to practice medicine with is one of the coolest things a dad could ever experience. I’m at retirement age, but she tells me I cannot retire. My thought is ‘thank goodness’. I enjoy doing this too much. I guess when the alarm starts going off and I don’t look forward to going to work, then I will retire, l but I don’t ever see that happening.”