CALLING DR. PETTY
He made house calls his entire career, and brought 7,000 babies into this world.
Looking back on his 50-year career as a physician in Smith County, Dr. Gordon Petty recollects that he didn’t realize what he was getting into.
What it was was an arduous calling with many long hours and long days, but it proved also to be a rewarding and wonderful life. “I started practicing July 1, 1951. I was the youngest doctor here. The older ones were playing out, and I was busy, busy, busy. It didn’t take me but about three days to get rolling. From the very beginning I made lots of house calls,” said Petty, who turned 96 years old Monday .
“I drove a 1948 DeSoto. I was running day and night. I kept a blanket and pillow in the back seat because I was doing so many calls and sometimes I would stop and take a nap. I guess I went to every corner of Smith County and nearly every house.”
A few years later, Dr. Hugh Green joined forces with Petty, and they practiced in tandem from 1956 until 1986.
“I couldn’t have had a better partner,” Petty said. “One day Dr. Green and I figured out we had seen 100 patients in the clinic and made 33 house calls.”
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