Four Generations of Medical Ministry – Part 2

Dr. John Aaron Moore
1898

Dr. Berry Lee Moore Sr.
1932

Dr. Berry Lee Moore Jr.
1954

Dr. John Henry Moore
1964

Dr. James Michael Berry
1984

Dr David Lee Berry
1991

 

Our sister Marilyn graduated from high school in 1954 and went to college for her first year at Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Missouri. She transferred her second year to the University of Texas because of the friendship and influence of Mary Ann Nowlin,Ā  a classmate at Lindenwood from Houston, Texas. It was at the University of Texas she met George Berry from Lubbock whom she dated, fell in love with and married in 1957. She tried to persuade me to attend the University of Texas, but I told her I had too much Razorback blood in my veins to do that. šŸ™‚

George earned his doctorate in Banking and Finance and began a teaching career at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He continued in his academic career for nine years and decided to make the transition into the business world as a financial consultant in banking. They moved initially to Midland for 9 years and ultimately moved back to Austin in 1978. He and Marilyn had 4 sons; James, John, Robert and David. Their oldest, James Michael and their youngest, David Lee decided to pursue careers in medicine, and they became the 4th generation of medical doctors from the lineage of Dr. J.A. Moore.

It was exciting for all of us concerning their decisions, and both James and David were able to spend some time in El Dorado in the summer months during their training years with both Berry Lee and me. They were able to shadow us to learn some of the practical applications of their medical training with actual patient care. They assisted me in the operating room with many surgical cases, and I encouraged both of them to consider careers in the surgical field. Both young men were not only gifted intellectually, but had excellent eye-hand coordination skills well suited for a surgical specialty.

James received his MD degree from theĀ  University of Texas Medical Center in Houston in 1984 and decided on anesthesiology as his specialty. From the outset he has had an outstanding career in the academic and patient practice world. In addition to providing anesthesia care for countless tens of thousands, he has helped train several generations of new anesthesiologists. While in Houston one of his responsibilities was in the field of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy, and he was in charge of the huge multi-place chamber at UT Houston. During those years he encouraged me to become certified in HBO therapy; which I did, and this led to my transition into primary wound care for the last 12 years of my practice life.

James moved with his family in 2001 to Jackson, Mississippi where he became Professor and head of the Department of Anesthesia at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.It was there he began his design and subsequent construction of a revolutionary device for reclaiming exhaled anesthetic gasses. When he moved again in 2003 to Nashville, Tennessee to become Professor and head of Anesthesia at Vanderbilt University, he was able to put into practice his Dynamic Gas Scavenging System (DGSS). The previous cost to Vanderbilt University for anesthetic gas was approximately one million dollars per year, but with James’s system in place, the cost dropped to approximately one hundred thousand dollars, a 90% savings! This device is patented and now commercially available; being used in a number of hospitals nationwide.

James moved with his family back to Texas in 2018 where he is now a Professor of Anesthesiology and on the staff of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. In addition to his many other responsibilities, James has served for years on The American Board of Anesthesiology as an examiner for the oral portion of the certification process for all anesthesiologists completing their training.

David attended medical school at The University of Texas in Galveston where he graduated with as an M.D in 1991. He decided on a career in Obstetrics and Gynecology and took additional training in Maternal Fetal Medicine. He has practiced his specialty in Austin, Texas since 1997 when he founded The Austin Perinatal Associates. The specialty also know as High Risk Obstetrics treats expectant mothers who have had complications in the past; have illnesses such as diabetes which can lead to high morbidity and mortality rates for the newborns; and for suspected or known abnormal conditions of the fetus. David’s skills which are unique, include prenatal diagnoses, invasive diagnostic and invasive procedures of the baby while still in the uterus and critical care obstetrical procedures. Because there are less than 6 Maternal Fetal specialists in Austin the demand for his expertise is huge. The population of Austin and all of central Texas may approach close to 2 million. In his practice for over 22 years David has successfully treated many thousands of grateful mothers and safely delivered their babies under very stressful conditions.

In March, 2017 David was privileged to safely deliver the Hodges family quintuplets at Seton Hospital, and this was the first set of quints delivered in Austin since 2009 The events surrounding the labor and delivery of their babies were the subject of a documentary on The Learning Channel (TLC) aired in the fall of 2017 and entitled Hodges Half Dozen (they already had one child prior to the quintuplets). The show became a reality television series, and David was prominently featured in the first episode.

David, his wife Lisa and their family members are strong Christians in their beliefs and witness, and in July, 2018 he was ordained as a minister of their church, The Throne of Grace in Austin. They are involved in multiple ministries and outreaches in the Austin community through their church because of their personal devotion to the cause of Christ.

God gifts us all differently, and we are to use those gifts for the benefit of others and to the glory of God. I don’t consider the profession of medicine any greater nor more important than any other profession. I am honored to have had the opportunity for all my professional years to have served others with my medical and surgical skills and to have been in a family of so many physicians. Perhaps there will be yet a 5th generation of physicians in our family, but irregardless we are fully committed to loving and serving others in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ..

Dr. John

 

Four Generations of Medical Ministry – Part 1

 

Dr. John Aaron Moore
1898

Dr. Berry Lee Moore Sr.
1932

Dr. Berry Lee Moore Jr.
1954

Dr. John Henry Moore
1964

 

Dr. James Michael Berry
1984

 

Dr David Lee Berry
1991

 

I was born into a family of medical doctors. My Dad (Pop) was a second generation physician and had been in practice with his father, Dr. John Aaron Moore for 5 years prior to my birth in 1939. Granddad Moore began his practice in Union County, Arkansas in 1898 in the community of Lisbon and later moved his family to El Dorado in 1912 where he continued to practice until his death in 1943.

The small, quiet town of El Dorado, Arkansas was transformed into a boom town with the discovery of oil in 1921, and the population quickly grew from just several thousand residents to near 40,000 within a few months. The medical needs of the town grew exponentially, and Dr. J. A.’s practice responsibilities were huge. The economy during the 1920’s was booming and people were better able to pay for the medical care they needed. There was no such thing in those days as medical insurance, so everyone paid either cash for their care or bartered with their physician using such things as fresh vegetables, chickens, hogs or rabbits. No one was ever turned away from receiving medical care by Granddad Moore because of lack of money. That principle of reimbursement for medical treatment begun by Granddad was continued throughout the next 2 generations of Moore’s who served the people of South Arkansas.

Upon completion of his medical training in 1934, my Dad (Pop) joined his father in a general medical practice in which they treated every medical condition including delivering babies and doing all forms of surgical procedures. Following medical school graduation in 1932 Pop had taken 2 years of additional surgical training at Charity Hospital in New Orleans and was qualified to do most general surgical procedures in addition to orthopedic procedures. They continued their practice together through the economically depressed era of the 1930’s and the beginning of World War II. Granddad Moore had severe coronary artery diseaseĀ  and died as a result of a heart attack in September, 1943. Pop continued in a solo practice through the 1940’s and 1950’s during the maturing years of my older brother Berry Lee, Jr., our sister Marilyn and me.

My brother Berry Lee (Bubba) joined Pop in a general medical practice in 1957 after he completed his internship at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and had served 2 years in the US Air Force at Brookley Air Force Base in Mobile, Alabama. Bubba learned the skills of a few surgical procedures such as Caesarean section, hernia repair and skin lesion removal but generally left surgical procedures to Pop and he assisted him in the OR when necessary.

Their practice location was on the second floor in the Masonic Building in downtown El Dorado on the west side of the square. Granddad was the Worshipful Master of the Masonic lodge responsible for constructing the building in the 1930’s. As a young boy visiting my Pop’s and brother’s clinic, I recall the odors of a medical office filling my nostrils upon climbing the first steps of the Masonic building. Near the end of Pop’s life in the early 1960’s plans were being made to build a new clinic on Grove Street situated between the two hospitals, Warner Brown Hospital and Union County Medical Center (now Medical Center of South Arkansas). The clinic was completed and dedicated several months following Pop’s death from heart disease in January, 1966.

I completed my surgical training at Charity Hospital in New Orleans in 1969, and was required to spend 2 years in the U.S. Air Force in Valdosta, Georgia. In 1971 Cathy and I moved to El Dorado where I joined Bubba in The Moore Clinic on Grove Street. My practice was primarily general surgical, but because I was associated with Bubba, I also did some general medicine in addition and shared night calls and weekend calls with him.

I continued in this practice model until 1974 when I joined The Surgical Clinic of South Arkansas with 3 other general surgeons. In this new setting I limited my practice to general surgery exclusively. Both Bubba and I agreed this would be a better situation in that other family practitioners would be more likely to refer their surgical patients to me. Bubba continued referring all of his surgical patients to me, and he was freed from the responsibility of assisting me in the operating room on the more complicated procedures.

In 1977 when Cathy and I had a spiritual conversion to make Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord, our lives were transformed in every respect. Bubba, who was a dynamic and witnessing Christian was instrumental in our faith conversion, and he offered to mentor me in my role as a Christian who served and ministered in the practice of medicine. This was an entirely new life and lifestyle for me because in all my prior years I had never seen a physician who ministered Christ and Christ-like attributes to his patients. For the next 22 years while living and practicing in El Dorado along-side Bubba, he poured his wisdom and encouragement into me. When we moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2000 and then to Branson, Missouri in 2005 my medical practice was in wound care exclusively and no longer in general surgery. Bubba and I continued to talk regularly with each other by phone and occasional visits, and he continued mentoring me until his departure from earth on August 7, 2009. He had retired from medical practice in 2000 in order to care for his wife LaNell who had developed an illness requiring his close attention.

The 3 generations of Moore’s practicing medicine in El Dorado continued uninterrupted from 1898 to 2000, while the 4th generation of physicians in the family had begun serving and ministering in Texas beginning in the 1980’s.

— to be continued:

Dr John