Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

May 8, 2013

Pauls Valley is new ambition for doctor

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

emann@pvdemocrat.com — Dreams may have quite a bit to do with determining how purpose plays out in any person's life, but often one's most defining moments arise where there hasn't been any planning at all.

Dr. Don Ferguson can attest to that, only choosing his field and discovering his potential after performing better than expected at the academic level about two decades ago. Soon to be Pauls Valley's latest family medical practitioner, he'll be taking over a practice long held by Dr. Charles H. Mitchell on May 13 and will be a chapter he plans to invest in for the long haul.

“I always wanted something community oriented,” said Ferguson.

Ferguson found more meaningful pursuits for what had started out as a career in the Army back in the 1980s and was actually working toward becoming a highway patrolman when he saw how well he was doing on medical related class work. Things gradually progressed to where he went into pre-med at the University of Oklahoma, continued at Eastern Virginia Medical School and eventually led to residency at a hospital in Louisiana.

“I said 'wow,” I can do something bigger, so I went into medicine,” said Ferguson, whose degree was in zoology, with a minor in Greek and classic studies.

Coming here won't mean too many changes in adaptation since those early years helped prepare him for what it was like to practice in a rural area, primarily in the emergency room and being a native Oklahoman. However, it will mean plenty of new experiences around a town he doesn't know too much about outside of his fiancé working here as an ER nurse in the past.

“This area has always been familiar to me,” said Ferguson, who has ties further north after growing up in Midwest City and currently living in Washington where two of his kids attend school.

Most recently an employee over at the hospital in Purcell since about 2007, he is not necessarily giving up the high paced style of the ER entirely, but was ready to work on a more personal level in an office and why this particular practice was so appealing. Despite any challenges he has come across through it, he is thankful for those experiences and feels the good ones have always outweighed the bad.

“I don't know that I'll ever quit doing ER, but I don't want to do it full time,” said Ferguson, adding how he will do a few shifts occasionally, though more on a courtesy staff level at PVGH. “The ER is more adrenaline producing than anything else in medicine.”

In the end, it is his passion for preserving life that motivates him on a regular basis and brings the most satisfaction. In fact, one could say his commitment to the whole thing is patriotic and is just another duty he feels must be met in order to serve the people he will continue to come in contact with each and every day.

“If this is successful I'll retire out here,” said Ferguson. “It's just like the military. I don't just want to have a job; I want to serve my country.”