Dr. John Remembers

The photograph was taken in 1963 when I was a senior in medical school. Dr. Berry Moore Sr. on the left was the operating surgeon and was being assisted by his two sons; Dr. Berry Moore Jr. on the right and me, the tall, skinny one in the middle. To the best of my knowledge the patient survived!

I am currently the last of the 3 generations of Dr. Moore’s who practiced medicine in El Dorado, Arkansas. My grandfather, Dr. John Aaron Moore began his practice in 1898 and was joined by his son Dr. Berry Lee Moore Sr. in 1934. Dr. J.A. departed this life in 1943 and Dr. Berry Sr. continued in a solo practice until joined by his son Dr. Berry Lee Moore Jr. in 1957. Their practice of Family Medicine continued until 1966 when Dr. Berry Sr. departed this life. I became a physician in 1964 and continued in training to become a general surgeon. I met Cathy Young from Fort Lauderdale, FL during my internship year in Atlanta, Georgia and we married in 1965. We moved to New Orleans for 4 years for my surgical residency, and then to Valdosta, Georgia for military service. Following 2 years of active duty in the US Air Force, my family and I returned to El Dorado in 1971 when I began private practice in general surgery.

My first office was with my brother, but because I had a referral surgical practice I moved my practice to join the Surgical Clinic of South Arkansas in 1974 while my brother continued in a solo general medical practice. I practiced in El Dorado until 1999, when I stopped doing general surgery; transitioned to a wound care practice and moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas to practice wound care at Washington Regional Medical Center. My brother practiced medicine until 2001 when he chose to retire to give home care to his wife LaNell who was diagnosed with a progressive dementia. On the date of his retirement, there had been a Dr. Moore practicing in El Dorado for a period of 103 years.

The purpose of this blog is to chronical the medical ministry of the Moore family to the people of South Arkansas for that 100 year period. I am recalling stories that my dad (Pop) told me of his years in training and his practice life before my brother joined him, and the few years they practiced together. From the time I began practice in 1971, the stories I relate are first hand.

In all of these accounts I purpose to show the hand of God in my life and in my family’s life. I want to recount how my life and practice was changed in 1977, when both my wife Cathy and I were born again into the Kingdom of God. We became radically different, and I began witnessing for Christ through the profession of medicine and surgery into which God had called me. In this effort and through this media, may Jesus Christ be honored and praised!


20 thoughts on “Dr. John Remembers

  1. Well, I can’t let the one who thinks she’s the favorite be the only one to comment! I’m excited you are doing this because when I try to retell some of your stories, I may leave out an important detail. Love you and I’m so proud you are doing this!

  2. I am so excited to hear of your family history and your writings! We have enjoyed the times we have been together in SD and MO. Of course we are bias because we love Mary Kay , Dave, and the girls! We will watching for each installment!
    Ginger and Bob

    • Thanks so much Ginger and Bob. Cathy and I have loved getting to know you through Dave and Mary Kay. You’ll be able to see some of the things from Mary Kay’s past that you may not have known. She is helping with editing, so she knows what I’m writing about her and the rest of the family. Blessings to you.

  3. Just read the first account and have tears in my eyes! Can’t wait to read the rest. Thanks so much for letting me know about the blog. Wouldn’t take anything for the priilege of laboring with you and for you and our patients at the Surgical Clinic. It truly was the “Best Bunch”!

    • It is fun writing about all these events from the past. Thanks for helping me recall some of them. I need to write one entitled “The Best Bunch!” I’ll keep going until dementia overtakes me. 🙂

  4. Again, God’s mighty hand touching lives’ through the hearts of folks willing to hear Him and following His leadership. The Word is freely flowing in South Arkansas. It’s shouting time, GLORY!!

  5. I ran across your writings by chance, and I am enjoying them so much. I have lived in El Dorado my entire life, and have not had the pleasure of meeting your family. Thank you so much for sharing your memories and history of South Arkansas. Thank you especially for spreading God’s message and how it has affected your life! God Bless!

  6. Dr. Moore: First let me say Thank You for Your Service To Our Country in the US Air Force! I am from El Dorado (after having been born in Searcy) but now live and work in Baton Rouge. I thoroughly enjoyed your Blog Articles. I especially liked those about Big Charity, Commander’s Palace, Huey Long and meeting The Bear. But it was your article on The Spudnut Shop that first caught my eye. It was an integral part of my life while in Jr. High School and then any time thereafter that I returned home. I can literally taste the taste and smell the smell right now as I write about it. Although I was never a patient of yours or your brother, father or grandfather, I believe my mother (Mary Lynn Henson) and/or my grandmother (Pearl Morris) were. The name of Dr. Moore always was synonymous with the highest quality care and professionalism. I also believe that you know my first cousin, Dr. Charles F. Long (Class of 1959) who now lives in Bethlehem, PA. Thanks again for your memories and May God Bless!! Ron J. Henson (Class of 1963).

    • Thanks for your very kind remarks, Ron. I do remember your family as patients of Berry Lee. I also very well remember Charles Long in high school but didn’t know where he was now living. Give him my best regards. So many great memories growing up and later practicing in a very special town. The story about The Spudnut Shop really struck a cord with lots of former residents. When we go back to visit our son and his family, we will occasionally indulge in one of those treats. They seem to smell and taste the same, but the guilt of eating one seems to be greater! We now live in Branson, MO and have found wonderful ministry opportunities here. If you and your family ever come for a visit, give me a call– let’s have a cup of chicory coffee and visit! Blessings to you Ron.

  7. In the recent Sunday Society news in El Dorado News Times, I read the article of you and your wife having a 50th wedding anniversary. What a blessing and gift!

    I was reminiscing about my experience of having you as my surgeon who did the hysterectomy. I will always remember and appreciate you praying with me and my family that day. Unfortunately, those days have diminished where we live in a society of not being able to openly talk to the Lord. I just want to say I am thankful to have had a Dr. who I believe Gods hand was on him.

    • Thank you Bobbi for your kind words in remembering that medical experience. What a privilege and honor it was for me to serve you and others in El Dorado, and I know we had more freedom then to openly share our faith in the One who created us; who saved us and heals us of all our diseases. I believe He is coming back soon and we need to be faithful to tell as many as possible His good news! Many blessings to you and your family.


  8. I can’t wait to hear and read more of these stories, your family means so much to us Davidsons. Your life and ministry in practice have played a part in inspiring how I practice medicine. Blessings and love.
    Lauren Greenhaw

    • Thank you Lauren. You and your family are very dear to Cathy and me and the history goes back to your Dad moving to El Dorado in the early 1970’s. Blessings to you and your husband.

      Dr. John

  9. I continue to enjoy your special, loving thoughts on health care experiences of the past. Have you heard of the mini series on HBO a few years back, “Getting ON”? you may enjoy at least a few of the 18 episodes. I have friends in Branson, Jan and Jerry that would love you. Sheila.
    former Warner Brown graduate a few years before you returned to El Dorado.

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