Dr. Gary Mathews arrives to practice at CMH clinic

Cimarron Memorial Hospital, and its clinic, have a new physician on board.

Dr. Gary Mathews, of Kerrick, has begun what he refers to a ‘bogus family practice” (He takes no obstetric patients, so it isn't a true family practice), and will be in the clinic every morning.

Mathews will replace Dr. Pam Yoga, who leaves CMH to train residents in rural medicine in the Midland-Odessa, Texas area.

Mathews, who grew up in Kerrick and graduated from Stratford, Texas High School in 1961, is a University of Texas graduate, and a “late bloomer” medically speaking.

“I really hadn't thought about being a doctor. I couldn't stand the sight of blood,” Mathews laughed. “But when I was working in the biochemical field in California, I ran around with an ER doc, and he encouraged me to try. He told me there were fields of medicine for people who fainted at the sight of blood.”

So at 36, Mathews found himself interviewing for the University of Texas, San Antonio Medical School.

“San Antonio was a radical school. They gave points for your grades, points for your interview, and if you got enough points, you got in. One woman who interviewed me was the senior medical student; she had entered medical school at 42.”

Mathews chose internal medicine as his field, and did his advanced medical schooling at hospitals in Amarillo connected with the Texas Tech Medical School.

He then went back to Austin where he had a clinic from 1985 to 1994, when he returned to the Stratford area where he practiced in a clinic and served in the local veteran's clinic.

He then went back to his Austin clinic part-time.

“I'd drive down there, work hard for two weeks and then live in Kerrick for two weeks,” Mathews explained.

Mathews returned to the Panhandle to help care for his mother, with whom he lives.

“I am divorced, and a fanatical gardener. I have a small farm near Griggs that I lease, but I used to raise about 10 acres of watermelon. Now I grow vegtables, and I think I'll start handing out complimentary squash through the clinic,” he grinned.

Mathews will meet the community at an open house in the nursing home on July 31.

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