Monday, March 1, 2010

 Oldest Practicing Doctor - world record set by Dr Walter Watson

 AUGUSTA, GA, USA -- Dr Walter Watson, known to many as “Papa Doc”, has delivered 18,000 babies in his 100 years of life - celebrated last month -and still comes into the clinic regularly to see his patients , setting the world record for the Oldest Practicing Doctor.

  Photo:Dr Walter Watson is the world's Oldest Practicing Doctor. Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt / The Augusta Chronicle (enlarge photo)

   Dr Walter Watson, the world's Oldest Practicing Doctor has delivered over 18,000 babies over the years and although he has retired from that particular role, he still makes an effort to see around 5 patients every day, including new ones. There are many Augusta-area families that have several generations of babies delivered by the doctor.

University Hospital in Augusta honoured their oldest and most valued obstetrician and gynaecologist, whose name is already brandished on the entrance to the health facility’s women’s centre.   

   People came to the hospital to honor Watson and his wife Audrey and say happy birthday. They wore stickers that declared them a "Watson Baby" or the mother of a "Watson Baby," often both.

   However, Watson says he doesn't feel a day over 99.
  "People think it is hard today," Watson said. "It doesn't compare with '31."

   In an interview with CNN, Watson says that he served in the army before becoming a qualified doctor in May 1947.

  The doc’s entry into the trade was far from easy. Watson spent 7 years working on a farm in Edgefield doing hard labour for as little as 50 cents a day in order to afford medical school.

   The world's Oldest Practicing Doctor reportedly enrolled at the Medical College of Georgia in 1939, and did his residency at University Hospital, which he never left.

    According to Watson himself, he stopped delivering babies and conducting surgery around 1996, however still comes into the clinic regularly to see his patients.

    His colleagues praise him for his “old-school” approach towards healthcare, which is all about actually taking care of the patients. The doc himself places a particular emphasis on family values.

   Many babies in the town were delivered by him, including his partner at the hospital, Dr Michael McDonough. His wife Audrey remarked that her husband is recognised everywhere.

    Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver joked that he had an ulterior motive in bringing a proclamation declaring it Watson's day in Augusta, noting the city has about 80,000 registered voters and "you have influence with about half the electorate."

   North Augusta Mayor Lark Jones, who also had a proclamation that made it Watson day in his city, said the famously courtly physician's accomplishments are accompanied by a profound humility and devotion. "He is always about faith, family and others," Jones said. Watson himself echoed these as his duties in thanking University's board for the tribute, saying simply that he will "try to do what I can for the hospital and for the community."

   Both Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford sent congratulations, along with both states' U.S. senators, and U.S. Reps. John Barrow and Gresham Barrett.   

Fyodor Uglov, who died aged 103, earned an entry in 1994 in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's oldest practising surgeon, and laid down his scalpel only at the age of 102.

   Dr Walter Watson tells CNN: “You guys have family you take care of, feel close to. And with patients, it’s the same way, you feel close to them, you work with them, and you try and help them.”

Work, family, church and community are pillars in his life, he said. He also mentioned his guidelines for life, known to some as "Papa Doc's Creed." His basics are, "Always do your best. Never give up. There's room at the top. Be a lady. Be a gentleman."

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   Related world records:
   Longest serving paper girl - world record set by Darlyne Markus

  Longest career in the same store - world record set by Roy Goggs

    Oldest Barber - world record set by Anthony Mancinelli

    Longest-serving paper boy - world record set by Ted Ingram

    Longest serving radio DJ-Herb Kent sets world record  

    Monday, March 1, 2010

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    [World Record Certificate



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