At age 76, Gibson is still going

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 16, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – Dr. Herman Gibson was already 74 when he made news in in October 1998, shortly after he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisiana Rural Health Association.

But taking a brief break in his office’s waiting room on Friday afternoon, the general practitioner said that at 76 years of age – 77 in October – he still has no plans to retire.

&uot;I’ve been doing this since I&160;was 18 years old, when I&160;was a medic in the Army,&uot;&160;Gibson said. &uot;I&160;just like it. I&160;like the contact I&160;have with the patients, because I&160;know so many of them from living in the parish so many years.&uot;

Gibson, a Clayton native, is referring to Concordia Parish, but his patients come from Catahoula and Tensas parishes as well.

&uot;His patients just love him,&uot; said Pat Crook, a nurse who has worked in Gibson’s office for more than 30 years. &uot;He’s a good doctor and a good friend.&uot;

&uot;And a great boss,&uot; added Jean Thomas, Gibson’s receptionist since 1953.

Until the late 1950s, when medical specialists first began practicing in Concordia Parish, Gibson would be called upon to do everything from delivering a baby to treating infectious diseases.

&uot;When you think the phrase ‘country family doctor,’ you see him,&uot; Crook said. She said Gibson has served in many other capacities as well, including parish coroner and chief of staff of what is now Riverland Medical Center.

Gibson is also working on a book on his 50 years in the medical field.

Gibson has treated as many as five generations of the same family, and former patients who now live elsewhere still call him to second-guess their doctors’ diagnoses.

Two former patients even came down to Ferriday from their home near Star City, Ark., on Friday morning to be treated by Gibson, Thomas said.

Gibson’s heart doctors has ordered him to cut back on his office hours, so he limits those hours to Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings – officially.

&uot;You see what time it is now,&uot;&160;Gibson said with a smile, noting that at 2 p.m., he is just finishing up with his last patient.