McGahan is Brundidge#039;s new #039;town doctor#039;

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 26, 2003

Dr. W.B. McGahan would almost pay to get to do his job.

He's one of those people who loves what he does to the extent that he would "almost" do it for free.

In talking with the new "town doctor" in Brundidge, one gets the impression that it would not be a real stretch to believe that McGahan would work for free if it came to that.

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The doctor said the stories he encounters on a daily basis read like a novel, except he is one of the characters and has an influence of the lives of the others in the story.

That's the way he likes it.

McGahan likes to be involved with other people. Perhaps if McGahan wanted to embellish his story, he might say that it was his love of people that brought him to medicine.

That would read better, but that's not the way it was.

As a senior in high school, an assignment in English class was to pick any career and write a paper on it.

He picked medicine for no particular reason.

He later scored high enough on a test to be awarded a scholarship in pre-med.

"The scholarship was good only as long as I kept my grades up," McGahan said. "I knew if I didn't keep the scholarship, I'd be back flipping burgers. That scholarship had me with my back to the wall. I either had to keep up or get out."

The scholarship opened the door for McGahan - a door which he said might not be open to him if he had to enter medical school now.

"I don't know if they would let me in the front door now," he said, laughing. "Everything's so hard and so much is expected. I was fortunate to get the scholarship because it took me where I want to be."

Where McGahan wanted to be for 20 years was Clio, the small Barbour County town that is best know as the home of George C. Wallace, Don Sutton and Dr. Stroud Jackson.

McGahan admits that Jackson was a hard act to follow. He was known and loved by people from Barbour and every adjoining county. And, he was still around, so it was easy for people to make comparisons.

"People often asked me why I wanted to go to Clio," McGahan said. "It was a small town, but I wanted to practice in a small town. Dr. Jackson had an established practice. It was good from day one. God had opened a door for me and I let him lead me."

McGahan was very happy in Clio. He and his family - wife and five children - made their home in nearby Elamville and he didn't really give much thought to leaving.

But a number of years ago when Dr. Don Golden closed his practice in Brundidge, the thought did cross his mind. But, he didn't feel the time was right.

He watched from the eastern outskirts of Brundidge as a stream of doctors came and went and he began to pay more attention to a pulling in that direction.

"Most of the doctors who came to Brundidge were National Health Service doctors who didn't really want to be there," McGahan said. "They were in Brundidge to do their time and were looking forward to leaving."

McGahan kept his eye on the situation and, when the door opened and another doctor departed, McGahan knew the time was right.

"God opened the door for me and then he led me through," McGahan said. "I am blessed by the people who come through the door of this office every day. I hope that in some way I am a blessing to them. My goal is to help people who come to me find health in their lives and happiness. I'm here in Brundidge because this is where I want to be. Brundidge is a progressive town and I'm proud to be a part of it now and looking forward to being a part of its future."