Reed City Hospital
National Doctors’ Day Feature: Dr. Mark Zook
Longtime family medicine doctor readies for semi-retirement
March 30, 2021
Dr. Mark Zook is going to miss his patients, colleagues and friends when he retires from Spectrum Health in late April.
A self-described, “small town, country farm boy kind of person,” he said the people have made his work as a family medicine provider rewarding.
“That’s the fun part of it,” he said. “I’m taking care of babies now, that I also took care of their moms when they were babies and sometimes their grandmas!”
Dr. Zook said taking care of patients of all ages has been a joy.
“That’s been a real rewarding thing – you just become a part of their family,” he said. “It’s the holistic approach. We say from cradle to grave. And it truly is that kind of a practice here. And people in this practice are just good people. They are appreciative and loving.”
He’s worked out of Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital for 34 years – an employee of the hospital since 1997.
“I love rural medicine,” he said. “I wouldn’t have probably stayed in family practice if I couldn’t do rural It’s really holistic, kind of an osteopathic philosophy.”
Dr. Zook is semi-retiring to the Traverse City area where he will continue serving as the medical director of Hospice of Michigan in its northwest region. He’s worked both jobs for 26 years.
“The job has become too much for one person to do both,” he said. “I have a very full hospice practice—it’s time. And my wife wants me to slow down.”
Dr. Zook and his wife Mary have been married 43 years. Mary has been the piano player for the music program at Big Rapids High School until the COVID-19 pandemic started.
They have a cottage at Central Lake near Charlevoix where Dr. Zook grew up.
He was raised on a dairy farm and developed a love for science and medicine after being taken under the wing of a neighbor, Dr. Ken Turner, who served in WWII.
Dr. Turner was the town doctor and friends with Dr. Zook’s father, who was blinded during the war.
Dr. Zook received his medical training at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, graduating in 1984, becoming a DO, just like Dr. Turner.
“I called Dr. Turner, and he was just beside himself with excitement,” Dr. Zook said. “I went the DO route and have never looked back. I have loved it.”
Dr. Zook received his undergraduate degree at Alma College and his masters degree from Central Michigan University. He completed his training in Traverse City in family medicine. He worked previously for the National Health Service Corporation and Family Health Care in Baldwin.
The Zooks have two children, Josef and Kirsten. Josef is a film maker and Kirsten is an attorney.
Dr. Zook enjoys fishing with his children at Central Lake in his spare time and trout fishing on area rivers, especially the Jordan River.
“That’s my Zen time, when I’m trout fishing,” he said. “It’s so relaxing.”
Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system that provides care and coverage, comprising 31,000+ team members, 14 hospitals (including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital), a robust network of care facilities, teams of nationally recognized doctors and providers, and the nation’s third-largest provider-sponsored health plan, Priority Health, currently serving over 1 million members across the state of Michigan. People are at the heart of everything we do. Locally governed and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we are focused on our mission: to improve health, inspire hope and save lives. Spectrum Health has a legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Through experience, innovation and collaboration, we are reimagining a better, more equitable model of health and wellness.