Neshoba County native Derek Cannon is happy to be back in his hometown practicing as a general surgeon at the county hospital. He is the son of Paulette and Hilton McKay Fairchild and the late Jerry Lane Cannon.
Neshoba County native Derek Cannon is happy to be back in his hometown practicing as a general surgeon at the county hospital. He is the son of Paulette and Hilton McKay Fairchild and the late Jerry Lane Cannon.
Dr. Derek Cannon is happy to be practicing medicine in his hometown as a general surgeon at Neshoba County General Hospital.

Cannon moved back home this summer with his wife, Heather, and their two children: Isabella, 3, and John David, 18-months.

"It's great to settle down and get back to the country lifestyle from the city," he said. "I like being around friends and family."

Cannon is a 1998 graduate of Neshoba Central High School and a 2003 graduate of the University of Mississippi where he earned a bachelor of science degree in biology.

From there he went to the University Medical Center in Jackson for medical school and then to the University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile, Ala., for his general residency.

Cannon is especially glad to be closer to his family.

He is the son of Paulette and Hilton McKay Fairchild and the late Jerry Lane Cannon.

"It's only a 20-minute ride to visit my mother," he said.

As a general surgeon, Cannon handles such things as "gall bladder infections and hernias but no heart surgeries," he said with a laugh.

He admitted that at one time he considered being a family physician but after his third year in medical school decided on general surgery.

Cannon has adapted well to practicing in a small town hospital.

"It's what I expected," he said. "It's a small town hospital so I already know a third of the staff.

"It's nice to come in and already feel comfortable. People here should be proud of their hospital."

Being just six week out of residency, Cannon likes working on his own.

"It's nice to be able to stretch and grow on your own, "he said. "In residency there's always someone there to watch over you."

Neshoba General was the first place he wanted to come to once his residency was over.

He didn't come here alone, however. His wife Heather is a family practice doctor. She works at Neshoba General's clinic in Eastgate Plaza.

The pair met in medical school.

"We graduated from Ole Miss the same year and then worked in research together," Cannon said. "We worked in the same building on the same floor but didn't meet until Jackson."

Outside of work, Cannon enjoys watching football and playing with his children.

"We just got a new four-wheeler and they love it," he said. "We spend time together as a family."

Hospital CEO Lonnie Graeber said it was always positive when a native returns home to practice medicine.

"It's always good to have a second general surgeon at the hospital," he said. "This will be extremely positive for the hospital and the community. Dr. Cannon has also helped recruit another doctor, his wife Heather, who has joined us as a family practice physician."