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August 19, 2019

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TeamHealth co-founder has always worked in the trenches

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Dr. Randal Dabbs grew up in Hohenwald, a small town 80 miles south of Nashville.

He remembers his life on the farm there as idyllic — they raised chickens, grew peanuts and worked the land. It was a life full of gratitude and contentment.

His father, Alton, had returned from World War II and for 32 years drove to the next county to a factory job. From time to time, his mother, Bernice, would take a job at the shoe or garden hose factories to help pay the bills.

Alton and Bernice were hard workers who never complained. It was an approach to life that had a significant impact on him.

“After World War II, it was just such a big deal to have any kind of a job, make a living, support your family,” he said.

Though the family never had hard times, Dabbs remembered thinking at a young age that he never wanted to feel at the mercy of a factory boss or live in fear of layoffs.

“If I can work for myself and not have to be at someone else’s willy nilly and not being able to provide for the family, that’s what I’ll do,” he said. “And I thought I was smart enough to get one of those jobs.”

The idea stuck. As co-founder of TeamHealth, Dabbs has helped grow one of the largest physician practices in the world, combining his love for practicing medicine with that drive to forge his own path.

Read more about how Dr. Dabb’s built TeamHealth around his passion for medicine on