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W.G. Watson, M.D., named a Georgia Hospital Hero
Oct. 1, 2010 (AUGUSTA, GA) – University’s longtime Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology W.G. Watson, M.D., has been selected as one of 10 Georgia Hospital Heroes by the Georgia Hospital Association.
“The award recognizes the very personal and powerful role you play in the lives of your hospital’s patients, your organization and the community you serve,” said GHA President Joseph Parker. “Because of the contributions made by dedicated professionals like you – both in and outside of the hospital – many more people are living happier, healthier lives.” Hospital Heroes recipients will be honored at a special banquet in Atlanta on Dec. 7.
About Dr. W.G. Watson: One of three children, this only son of a farmer/postmaster and school teacher was born in 1910 in Trenton, South Carolina. As a young man, he milked cows, plowed fields and studied agriculture under former Senator Strom Thurmond, then a teacher. After high school, Dr. Watson attended the Citadel, where he played football and excelled academically. Unable to find work during the Great Depression, he spent a year working his father’s 700-acre farm. “I came up in hard times,” he says, “but I’m thankful for it.”
At the age of just 22, Dr. Watson became principal and football coach at Edgefield High School. He worked as an educator for seven years, saving the money to attend medical school. After serving as a U.S. Army physician, Dr. Watson came to Augusta and joined the medical practice established by the late J.W. Thurmond, M.D.
During the more than 60 years Dr. Watson has practiced at University Hospital, he has ushered more than 15,000 babies into the world, including two of his physician partners. “I can’t go anywhere without two or three people coming up and telling me I delivered them,” he says.
For many years, Dr. Watson also served as physician for the North Augusta High School football team. “I tried to attend all the games, but if I couldn’t and a player got injured they just brought him up to the maternity floor for treatment,” he says. For this service, Dr. Watson was one of the first inductees into the North Augusta Sports Hall of Fame.
Dr. Watson’s family includes the five children he and his wife Audrey, a former nurse at University Hospital, raised as well as a brigade of grandchildren and great grandchildren who call him Papa Doc. To them he has bequeathed his homespun philosophy in the form of Papa Doc’s Creed: Always do your best. Never give up. Room is at the top. Be a lady. Be a gentleman.