Dr. John Bozdech

Dr. John Bozdech hopes his patients don’t remember him. That’s hard to imagine for a doctor who’s cared for thousands of patients here at Quincy Medical Group (QMG) as a gastroenterologist, but for him, it’s a sign he’s done his job.

“If you think about this for a minute, when you think about your doctors, often the ones you remember are the ones who really made you mad or weren’t so great,” he said. “If you look back and try to remember who did a good job, was good to their patients, and provided really good care, the memories are foggier. It’s kind of a mark of success if people don’t remember who you were.”

As he prepares for retirement after a medical career that has spanned more than 40 years, and looks back on his career and his journey to becoming a doctor, he has quite a few memories. He grew up in DeKalb, IL. Being a doctor wasn’t among his plans. In fact, he’s the first physician in his family.

“I went off to college thinking I was going to be a research microbiologist and go on to get a PhD,” he remembers. “I discovered I liked the medical part, the physical part of taking care of patients, a lot more than I liked the lab. That’s how I ended up going to medical school.”

He completed his undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Iowa, his residency in Internal Medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY, and a fellowship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, CO. From there, he began his medical career at Cleveland Clinic.

After four years in Cleveland, he and his wife wanted to get closer to home and find a physician-run practice instead of a large company. In 1992, that led him to Quincy, IL, and QMG, known as QP&S Clinic at the time.

“At that time, we were 35 physicians, I think we had two or three nurse practitioners, and we had no satellite locations. We were in two buildings — the support building (the one with the tower) and then the one over by the Junior High,” he shared. “When I came here, I shared office space with three surgeons. They converted a closet for my office. It had a metal military surplus desk. That’s where I started.”

A lot has changed in three decades at QMG, including the addition of more physicians and the expansion of services. In 1994, with the addition of Maine Street building, his office moved temporarily, until the completion of the Hampshire Street building in 2003, where the Gastroenterology department is today.

Over the years, he’s cared for many of our community’s patients. When asked what it means to have helped so many, he’s said it’s not one-sided. He’s been helped just as much by his patients.

“In a town like this, it’s not just physicians — everyone has to look out for each other. I feel that about the guy who takes care of my car or the contractor who works on my house. In a smaller community, you build relationships,” he shared. “We’re all in this together and we tend to care of each other.”

Now that retirement has come, he’s not planning to leave Quincy, a place he has called home all these years. However, a long-awaited addition will have him spending some more time up north.

“My daughter lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and is going to have a baby. I’ve been waiting for grandchildren for a long time,” he said. “We’ll still be here in Quincy. We have no plans to leave. We have too many connections, and we also have really great medical care. We can’t get better care than what we have here in Quincy.”

He’s grateful for his time here at QMG and said he’s a better person because of it. Although he hopes his patients don’t remember him, he thanks them and wants the best for them moving forward.

“The most honorable thing would be in two years, that no one remembers my name. That means they are established with a new doctor, and they’re getting good compassionate care.  I hope I’ve left a good foundation and didn’t screw up too badly.”

Thank you, Dr. Bozdech, for your many years of care and dedication to patients. You made an impact, and that won’t easily be forgotten.