Pugh first to welcome new residents

Published 12:06 pm Wednesday, April 2, 2003

By BY LYDIA GRIMES – Features Writer
Sunday was National Doctor's Day and in honor of the day, this week's profile features one of Brewton's doctors.
Dr. Gary Pugh is an obstetrician/gynecologist practicing in Brewton for the past few years. He didn't always want to be a doctor, but did lots of other jobs before he knew where he really wanted to be. A lot of doctors know early in life that that is the profession they want to go into. Pugh was not one of those. He really had no idea that he would someday make his profession in the medical field.
He was born in Brewton, the oldest child in a family of five, and raised in Berrydale. He attended and graduated from Jay High School in 1971. He attended Jefferson Davis Junior College for one quarter and then went to Pensacola Junior College for about two years before dropping out. He worked at several jobs for the next few months including the Bank of Jay and West Brothers in Brewton. He then went to work at American Cyanamid and worked there for over three years. He married a local East Brewton girl, Kathy Jean Hodges, in 1976 and they moved to Montana where he worked for Seiscom Delta as a seismographer looking for oil. They later moved back to Brewton where he worked on an oil rig. He was injured on the job and had to have surgery after which he had no job.
He got a job as at Welldata for the next 3 and one half years as a unit manager. While there he met a man with an oil company who hired him to go into sales and he eventually went to Guatemala to work in the oil business.
It was about that time that there was a blow out in Saudi Arabia at an oil rig and Pugh's company was called to got to check for gases (H2S). He went to Qatar with the Safety Technician and Oil Field Protectors that were based in Lafayette, La. He was the eighth person to be hired with them and when he left the company, there were over 100 people employed by the company.
It was while he was working with this group that he made his first venture into the field of medicine. The company decided that the employees should all learn CPR and first aid and become instructors in both. Later they decided to go even farther and required them to go through EMT training and become Emergency Medical Technicians.
This was the beginning of what would become the start of a whole new career for Gary Pugh.
Pugh continued to work while his wife went to nursing school and then he quit his job and was accepted at Florida State University and started in 1985 and went straight through school.
Pugh thought all the time that he would go into family practice, but was told that he was suited for osteopathy to treat the mind, soul and body. He applied to and was accepted to Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. He was the president of his class his first year and president of the American College of General Practitioners, Kirksville chapter, the second year. Focusing on family practice, he was voted into ACPA National in his third year.
He started his clinicals and did surgery on his first rotation and really enjoyed it. His second rotation was in obstetrics at Sacred Heart Hospital where he delivered 16 babies.
Residencies are set in March and although he applied to several hospitals, he was not accepted. He had to work somewhere and decided to go to Monroe, La. to enter a program that would give him a year of experience. Before he left for Monroe, he received a call from Sacred Heart and offered an opening there. This was in 1992 and after four years of residency there he went to Opp and practiced for a few years.
Pugh was well liked in Opp and when he came back to Brewton, he brought a good number of his patients with him. On the day of his interview with the newspaper, he received a visit from one of his patients who came from Florala.
There are new plans in the works for Dr. Pugh and his coworkers. He is opening a new office at 1108 Douglas Avenue very soon and hopes to take on a partner to be able to see a lot more patients.
Pugh is very busy with his practice, but when he has free time, he loves to hunt and fish. He raises and trains horses and spends a lot of time with them. The most important thing in his life right now is the new son that he and his wife adopted recently. After raising two daughters and having three grandchildren, the Pughs are embarking on a whole new family. They are active members of North Brewton Baptist Church where he is an outreach leader and assistant Sunday school director.
Things are definitely looking good for Dr. Pugh these days, with a new son and an expanding business and he gives credit to God for helping him get where he is today.