He recalls accompanying his father to medical society meetings in Mississippi. “The Mississippi State
Medical Association has always been a strong organization, and I’ve always been active in it,” he said.
He also remembers piling into the car with his three
siblings to accompany their father on emergency call.
Dr. Lyne Gamble’s dedication to practice reflected
lessons learned from his surgeon father. “My grandfa-
ther really liked practicing medicine. He had a strong
sense of civic responsibility,” Dr. Hugh Gamble said.
“He didn’t drive, and he didn’t sleep much. If the phone
rang at 3:00 am, he’d have Lewis, his chauffeur, drive
him wherever he needed to go to see a patient.”
Dr. Hugh Gamble enjoyed a thriving practice, as
he was the only thoracic surgeon within a 100-mile
radius in Mississippi. “As a Gamble, you were expected
to be as good as those who preceded you. I rarely went
through a week without a patient knowing something
about my family history,” which had good and bad con-
sequences. “If they liked your family, they liked you,
too,” Dr. Gamble said.
He recalls that in about the ninth grade, he was
Defying Jim Crow
required to take a foreign language. “I chose Latin
because I knew a lot of doctor words were in Latin,”
Dr. Gamble said. “I knew from that point forward that
that’s what I wanted to do. I never considered anything
but becoming a doctor. I would have been miserable
doing anything else.”
He recalls, as a boy, walking past his father’s office
after school, that there would always be a large group
of patients who couldn’t afford to pay for services. “My
dad had a cabinet of drug supplies, and he would give
away samples to patients,” he said. “My grandfather
basically ran a clinic for free. That pure charity was
replaced with federal involvement. Now programs like
Medicare and Medicaid have had a significant impact
on access to care, and there is an endless supply of rules
Like the Gamble family, the Green family defied the Jim
Crow laws of the Deep South. The Green family established a clinic in Ruston, LA, that continues to thrive.
Marvin Green, MD, FACS, who became a Fellow of the
College in 1935, spent much of his time making house
calls to patients of all income levels and racial backgrounds. Dr. Marvin Green eventually realized that a
centralized surgical practice resulted in the best patient
outcomes. He traveled across the country in search of
experts who would relocate their practices in Ruston.
“I grew up hearing stories about my grandfather
from all different kinds of people,” said John M. Green,
MD, FACS, a general surgeon at Carolinas Medical
Center, Charlotte, NC. All of the stories had a similar theme. “A family member had been treated with
compassion and skill and held my grandfather in high
regard. Many times they had no way to pay and brought
him eggs or meat from their farms. Every time I walked
into the clinic that bore the family name, I saw his portrait in his [ACS] robe.
“I grew up in the back hallways of the clinic my grandfather established,” he continued. “At one point, I know
he personally paid the nurses to keep the local hospital
open. It was always exciting for me to visit my dad at
work and see that environment.”
The Green family of physicians: (from
left) Andrew E. Green, MD; M. Ragan
Green, Jr., MD; John M. Green, MD,
FACS; James D. Green, MD (retired); and
Marvin T. Green, Jr., MD, FACS (retired).