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
Dr Walter Watson, the world's
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.
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
"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
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
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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