A Conversation with Stephen C. Brawley, MD, PhD, FAAFP

Dr. Brawley

Date: May 27, 2021
Categories: Press Release

Augusta Health Primary Care Crozet

As the primary care provider at Augusta Health’s new Primary Care—Crozet, Dr. Brawley will work with patients of all ages for preventive care, physicals, chronic disease management and acute visits. He is a “double doc” with both an MD and a PhD in aerospace engineering. Dr. Brawley was a Navy Flight Officer for a decade and a military physician stationed at bases around the world before overseeing the Family Medicine Residency Program at Eastern Virginia Medical School. He now opens Augusta Health’s new Primary Care practice in Crozet.

“I really enjoy primary care, and family practice in particular, because you can be the doctor for the whole family—the parents, the kids and even the grandparents,” says Dr. Brawley. “As family physicians, we really get to know our patients, and for some patients, we can become like another member of the family. I enjoy the challenge and opportunity of working with families to gain their trust and provide truly individualized care.”

“I encourage healthy lifestyles and help my patients set realistic goals to get there,” adds Dr. Brawley. “It really is a partnership. Medicine can’t do it all, and patients can’t make drastic lifestyle changes at once, so we need to work together to do what can be done. That usually includes a healthy diet, more exercise or activity, getting a good night’s sleep and not smoking. Each of those can be challenging, though, so it’s great to have a team approach to good health.”

While acknowledging that a background in aerospace engineering is unusual for a doctor, and admitting that he once had dreams of working for NASA, Dr. Brawley does believe that his academic and military background has been an asset in his medical practice. “Engineering is very oriented to problem-solving, much like diagnosing and treating patients, and the military gives you an excellent sense of accountability,” he says. “You’re taught to be at the right spot and get tasks completed. You focus and get work done for your patients.”

And that’s exactly what Dr. Brawley hopes to do at a brand new Augusta Health practice in Crozet. “I’ve had many experiences over the years,” explains Dr. Brawley, “but opening a brand new practice is something I’ve never done before. I’ve always joined an existing practice, so this is a new and challenging opportunity. I’m looking forward to being a part of the community, and getting to know the people and new patients. I am hoping every new day will be a step forward.”

In addition to his military postings, Dr. Brawley has traveled the world with his wife, and completed medical mission trips to Panama, Nicaragua and Ghana. They’ve now settled in “this friendly and beautiful” area, and are looking forward to life and his practice in a new home.

Appreciative of his new opportunity, he is also thankful for the diverse experiences throughout his medical career. “I’ve gained a lot of different perspectives over the years,” he says. “When your job is to work with so many different patients and students, the experience is invaluable.”