New local physician Dr. Joseph Tretta, an Otolaryngologist with Palestine Regional Medical Center began seeing patients at his private practice on Medical Drive Thursday.

As an ear, nose and throat doctor, Tretta sees patients with a variety of treatments, including hearing loss, ear infections, allergies and sinus problems.

“I deal with allergies, infectious diseases, tumors, cosmetic surgery and traumas,” he said. “It is such a broad specialty — offering a good mix of medicine and surgery.”

Born into a family of physicians, Dr. Tretta said the profession seemed to be a logical choice for him.

“Everyone in my family is a doctor,” he said. “I never had a second thought about choosing to be a doctor. I really enjoy it.”

Dr. Tretta was born, raised and attended school in Philadelphia as he went to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

He then volunteered for the Army during the Vietnam War, completing his medical internship at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. His next military assignment was at Fort Leonardwood in Missouri, where he served as chief of the otolaryngology (head and neck surgery).

He temporarily returned to his home state at the home of the Army War College in Carlisle, Penn. when he decided to get out of the military. He has been in private practice ever since.

“We saved up and got back to Texas as soon as we could,” he said. “We moved to San Antonio in 1985.”

Dr. Tretta’s most recent practice was in the Winnsboro-Pittsburg-Quitman area, where he also was on staff at two nearby hospitals.

“I had heard from a friend in the army that there would be an opening here for an ear, nose and throat doctor,” he said. “So I looked into it and decided to move here.”

Tretta said Palestine has been more than welcoming for him and his family.

“Palestine has a beautiful hospital and friendly people,” he said. “This is the friendliest place I have been in East Texas.”

Tretta’s wife of 32 years, Connie, is a nurse and assists the doctor at his new practice.

“She used to be my scrub nurse in surgery,” he said. “Now she does hearing tests, assists in minor surgery and checks in patients — she does everything.”

The Trettas, who have four grown children and one grandchild, love the country lifestyle and are currently looking to purchase property in the area in order to relocate.

When not at work Dr. Tretta enjoys running his cattle operation and spending time with his Tennessee Walking horse and quarter horse, which he rides while working the family ranch.

He also is an avid bow hunter, having traveled to every western state and most eastern states in the United States, as well as British Columbia, Canada and his own back door to pursue his hobby.

Tretta also enjoys building Queen Anne and Chippendale style furniture in his industrial-grade workshop — a hobby he has pursued since his time in the military.

Dr. Tretta’s office is located at 123 Medical Dr. behind Palestine Regional Medical Center in Palestine. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 903-723-9009 for an appointment.

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