Occupational Health Systems’ John McElligott


Dr. John McElligott has dedicated his career to better the health of East Tennesseans.

He’s co-founded multiple health care companies, including Summit Medical Group and Knoxville-based Occupational Health Systems. Occupational Health Systems, provides care for workers injured on the job, employs 20 people and has a second location in Clinton.

He’s helped those dealing with opioid addiction and started a nonprofit to help truckers receive care for medical conditions.

He’s the recipient of the Knox.biz Health Care Heroes lifetime achievement award.

But his path to becoming the esteemed “Dr. John” wasn’t a typical one.

An all-American swimmer with a mean butterfly stroke in Midland, Texas, McElligott wanted to swim in college. However his grades prevented him from getting into colleges that were offering him scholarships.

Dr. John McElligott poses for a photo outside his office, Friday, July 15, 2022. McElligott is receiving the Health Care Heroes Lifetime Achievement award.

He ended up going to Odessa Junior College, then Old Dominion University in Virginia.

He joined the US Navy at 18, becoming a combat medic in the Vietnam War. He said he chose the Navy to keep from getting drafted by the Army, as he didn’t like the green uniforms.

He would end up getting transferred to the Marine Corps before being deployed.

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