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Story Archives: Reception Thursday to honor Gibson's 60th year as doctor
|Reception Thursday to honor Gibson's 60th year as doctor|
A reception honoring Dr. Herman Gibson on his 60th anniversary as a physician will be held Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Vaughn's City Drug in Ferriday.
Gibson, who turns 88 on Oct. 26, will also be autographing copies of his books, including his newest release, "A Southern Tale." His wife, Mary Bradford-Gibson, will be autographing her latest book, "Catahoula Prairie."
Gibson attended school in Clayton through the seventh grade and went on to Ferriday where he graduated. In 1941 he entered Louisiana Tech and initially studied chemical engineering before later going into pre-med. He was drafted into the Army in 1943.
In a 2005 interview in the Sentinel, Gibson recalled that he returned home in 1946, completed his pre-med work at Louisiana Tech and went to medical school at LSU. In 1951, he began his intern work at Baptist Hospital in Alexandria.
For a while, he assisted Dr. Bostick from Gilbert and was planning to open a practice in Sicily Island. But while visiting his Dad at work, his plans changed. Gibson's father was an accountant for Pasternack's in Ferriday.
Pasternack told Gibson, "We need you in Ferriday."
Gibson said Pasternack "took me to the bank, where they loaned me what I needed to get my practice started. Mr. Vogt rented me office space above his drug store."
His practice started at a brisk pace before it officially began.
"I was upstairs in a t-shirt and blue jeans setting up my office," he said. "when a man walked in with a fish hook in his hand."
Another man came in with a nail in his foot. They kept coming.
In a short time, Dr. Pollard Coleman, the son of Tensas Parish Sheriff Elliott Coleman, joined Gibson in practice.
Around 1953, Gibson and Coleman opened Concordia Hospital. Prior to that the two sent their patients to Natchez for hospital care. Years later, Gibson and Coleman along with other area doctors agreed to use the newly-built Concordia Parish Hospital, now Riverland Medical Center, which opened its doors in 1964.
In the early days, a house call cost $10. A doctor's visit cost $5 for the first visit and $3 for each future visit. Sometimes Gibson was paid for his services with fresh eggs or produce.
"Some would kill a hog and bring me some meat," he said. "It was alright."
He adds, "People are still generous."
In the 1950s, there were many diseases to treat that are unheard of today -- polio, measles, mumps.
"Now a ball-point pen and a Dictaphone are more important than the stethoscope," he laments. "The paperwork has become more important than the patient to the government."
But it's the "interaction with people" that Gibson says he has always loved the most.
"I enjoy people," he said.
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