Thomas McKnight, M.D., MDiv, M.P.H.
Office Tel: (850) 279-6949; Office Fax: (850) 279-6033
His 30 year journey as a physician began from behind the pulpit of a Methodist church in eastern Kentucky. His seminary training (Master of Divinity) was at Princeton Theological Seminary with an emphasis on pastoral counseling. While ministering to parishioners experiencing health problems, a passion was ignited within him to serve people as a physician. This passion led to the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. To support his family during this time, he agreed to serve in the Air Force for a couple years that led to a 27 year career in the Air Force retiring at the rank of Colonel.
During his military career, he taught family medicine at two Air Force residences and completed a fellowship in faculty development (U. of North Carolina). Seeing the health impact of obesity on his patients, he left teaching to focus on preventive health and the treatment of obesity in the primary care setting. Sponsored by the Air Force, he completed a Masters in Public Health and preventive medicine residency (U.of South Carolina). His final Air Force assignment was to work on the 'Air Force virtual medical center.' Selected as the Uniformed Services Academy of Family Physicians 'physician of the year,' he then became a finalist for the American Academy of Family Physicians physician of the year award.
While in private practice he wrote the book Obesity Management in Family Practice. For 5 years he served as a senior civil service physician at the Air Force’s Special Ops Base. In January 2010, he spent 11 days immediately after the Port-au-Prince earthquake helping establish a field hospital that served over 700 patients while he was there. He and his wife have ministered in Haiti for over 25 years and adopted two wonderful children. Dr. McKnight introduced into Haiti the American Academy of Family Medicine obstetric life saving course Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics.
In November 2012, Dr. McKnight decided now was the time to establish a 21st century primary care health clinic whose vision is to empower patients to experience optimal health. To this end, The Emerald Coast Health Institute was established!