Philip Slocum

Freeman Lung Institute


Dr. Philip Slocum has a philosophy that his profession is about practicing in the space where science and story-telling collide; that to be a great physician, one must be a great listener.

“If you look critically at what a clinician does, they listen to the story that a patient is telling them and use science to come up with another story: the diagnosis,” he said. “We need science, but we need people who are able to listen to stories and interpret stories.”

Dr. Slocum and the team at the Freeman Lung Institute listen to patient stories every day to help treat conditions such as COPD, asthma, interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension and more.

Dr. Slocum always knew he wanted to help others and has had a remarkable career doing just that. His path began following in the footsteps of his grandparents, who were both osteopathic physicians, and he eventually became the first ever osteopathic physician to complete a critical care fellowship at Maine Medical Center. He went on to be the first chairman of the department of internal medicine at the University of New England; to run both the critical care division and the immigrant, refugee and homeless health programs at the University of North Texas; to serve as dean of the Kirksville (Missouri) College of Osteopathic Medicine; and to help innumerable patients in private practice. Dr. Slocum came to Joplin in April 2016 to serve on the faculty of KCU-Joplin. He is currently helping to develop a full-time outpatient pulmonary care program for Freeman Health System as well as a pulmonary fellowship.

Although he is a relative newcomer to the area, Dr. Slocum said Freeman and the community have made a lasting impression on him.

“In 43 years of practice, Freeman is the best health care system I’ve worked in. They are the most supportive and bend over backwards to make our patients feel welcome. I have nothing but the highest praises for Freeman and the administration,” he said. “Also, it doesn’t hurt that I have a great staff who make it fun to come to work every day!”