Race car driver. Restaurant owner. Primary care physician. Dr. Stephen Golden wears many hats. Born in Piggott, Dr. Golden went to high school in Jonesboro and completed his undergraduate studies at Arkansas State. He started as a pre-med student, before changing his major to speech/drama his junior year. “I loved acting and plays, but I quickly learned that I was a better pre-med student than a drama student, so I switched back,” he said. He attended medical school at UAMS and moved to Fort Smith for his residency. Once it was complete, he moved back home. “I have always loved Jonesboro, so I knew I wanted to practice here in my hometown,” he said. As one of the founders of First Care, Dr. Golden helped revolutionize the way care is offered to patients in Northeast Arkansas. He and a group of fellow physicians decided to open up the clinic after regular business hours, allowing more time for patients to be seen by a doctor. The First Care clinics took off, and in the early 1990s, St. Bernards bought the practice. “I love working with patients as their primary care provider,” said Dr. Golden. “It’s very interesting to follow someone, know them for a long time and help them live a healthy life. I find primary care to be very rewarding." [caption id="attachment_352" align="alignleft" width="300"] Dr. Golden on the race track[/caption] In the early 2000s, Dr. Golden won a small sum of money while playing blackjack at a casino. He decided to do something fun with the cash, so he enrolled in Skip Barber Racing School, a North Carolina-based four-day program to teach individuals the art of car racing. “Going to the racing school ignited a passion in me,” said Dr. Golden. “I raced for nine years, and I still miss it. Being on the racetrack just takes all the stress or worries from life away. If you’re doing it right, you are scaring yourself at every corner. It’s actually made me a better, safer, more conscious driver.” Ten years ago, Dr. Golden decided to face another curve head-on: He partnered with another doctor to start Brickhouse Grill in downtown Jonesboro. “I had previously served as president of the Downtown Jonesboro Association and, in that role, we were told that the best way to revitalize downtown would be to make it an arts and entertainment district,” he said. “Dr. Dan Johnson and I decided to do our part and opened Brickhouse.” Between seeing patients and working with Brickhouse, Dr. Golden enjoys traveling to New Orleans for Mardi Gras or a Jazz Fest or to St. Maarten for a relaxing beach getaway. “At this point, I am looking toward retirement, but I love what I am doing and the time I get to spend with patients,” he said. Dr. Golden practices at the First Care clinic at 415 E. Matthews. To make an appointment with Dr. Golden, please call 870-972-8181. We will be featuring a primary care physician each month, so make sure to check back in June for another doctor spotlight!