COOKEVILLE – In a health care market dominated by hospitalists, mega offices and big time consolidations, Dr. Jose Rivero is bringing an “old- fashioned” feel to Cookeville with recent opening of his obstetric and gynecologic practice.
Highlands OB-GYN, which debuted in August, features Rivero, 47, as the solo practitioner, offering a full-gamut of women’s health services.
He admits that’s unique for the Upper Cumberland community, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. “Nowadays, you don’t see a lot of these practices. We’re kind of the oddity in town. It’s just me, kind of an old-fashioned office,” Rivero said. “You have complete control over the business side of things and the clinical side as well. You get to know every single patient, so I feel like it’s a more personalized type of approach. There are disadvantages; you’re on call every day, every night. But because it’s a small practice, it hasn’t been a bother. It’s been great.”
Rivero made his way to Cookeville after years of practice in other areas of the country, which includes most recently a 10-year stint in Winchester followed by three years in nearby Tullahoma. He grew up in Orlando, Fla., and attended the University of South Florida in Tampa as a pre-med major. Medical school was his first taste of Tennessee, having attended Meharry Medical College in Nashville. He did his obstetrics/ gynecology residency back at the University of Miami.
“For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be a doctor,” Rivero said. “I went into med school thinking about being a surgeon, or a cardiologist, it was all interesting to me; the whole medical field is interesting to me. But when I did my rotation in ob- gyn as a third-year medical student, it really clicked. You’re involved with this really, really happy event most times, and you get to bring another person into the world. It was such a special feeling to me. I just felt it was my calling.”
In Cookeville, his practice offers the full gamut of women’s health services, helping patients through both low and high risk pregnancies, chronic pelvic pain, urinary issues, prolapse and more.
“I came here originally to be a little bit closer to my daughters, but Cookeville’s a great medical community,” he added. “We’re a referral center for many, many surrounding counties. We’ve been growing the practice since opening.”
While Highlands OB-GYN is on the smaller- scale, don’t expect it to stay that way for long. Rivero says there’s an obvious demand for obstetric and gynecologic services and expects he’ll be at capacity possibly by the end of his first year in business.
“When I first thought about coming here, I had a sit down with the hospital administration, and one of the first questions we asked each other was, ‘is this going to be a good fit?’ ‘Is there a need for me?’ ‘Is there a need in the community for another ob-gyn?’” Rivero said. “They thought, based on their numbers, there was a need for at least one, maybe two more, ob-gyns. It’s a growing community. We’re not a big city, but we act like a big city hospital because of the fact we attract so many people from surrounding counties. Half the patients I’ve seen so far are not from Putnam County. I never saw that working in Tullahoma and Manchester. It’s amazing.”
Outside of work, he says he enjoys outdoor activities, like hiking, biking, running and water sports, and has found time to explore the community in the months he’s been here, including Cummins Falls. He looks forward to doing more when the weather permits.
“This is a great place and a great community to do those things because there’s so many great places to go,” Rivero said. “I can’t complain; I’m lucky to be here. I hope everything continues to chug along.”
Dr. Jose Rivero is a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist at Highlands OB-GYN in Cookeville. For more information, call (931) 400-0231 or visit 406 N. Whitney Ave., Suite 4.