Texas County Memorial Hospital announced last week a full-time family medicine provider will return to its clinic in Licking.
John Paulson, DO, PhD, has agreed to work full-time at the TCMH Family Clinic in Licking beginning Jan. 3. He will fill a vacancy at the clinic since it was vacated in September.
Paulson, a board certified family medicine physician, has been working full-time for TCMH since July. Originally recruited to work full-time at the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston, Paulson began working 1 1/2 days a week in Licking in September as a way to assist the hospital in taking care of patients at the TCMH Family Clinic.
“Being a doctor is about doing what needs to be done,” Paulson said. “This is a good opportunity for me.”
Paulson credited local business owners for encouraging him to bring his practice full-time to Licking.
“By working full-time in Licking, I will make it more convenient for patients in northeast Texas County and the surrounding area to see a doctor,” Paulson said.
Paulson noted that with the new physicians working in Houston – Dr. Schaun Flaim and Dr. Gretchen Price – it’s easier for patients to get in to be seen in Houston.
“We are going to put a new X-ray machine in the clinic, so we can do our own casting,” Paulson said. “That should save people from driving to the hospital for simple fractures.”
Paulson attended Oklahoma State University Center of Health Science and completed the Cox Family Medicine Residency program in Springfield.
Paulson provides the full range of family medicine, seeing infant to elderly patients and everyone in between. He has specialized interest and training in colonoscopy, dermatology, casting and sports medicine.
“I have enjoyed getting to know patients in the Houston and Licking practices,” Paulson said. “Anyone that has seen me in Houston is welcome to continue to see me in Licking.”
Paulson signed a four-year contract with the hospital that began in July. The contract will continue with TCMH at the Licking Clinic.
“I have always wanted to live in a small town,” Paulson said about Texas County.
Paulson has found that rural America provides good opportunities to hunt and to fish and to live a slower pace of life. He also believes that as a physician in a small town, he can “really make a difference.”
Paulson resides in Houston with his wife, Crissy, and their infant daughter, Ella. The Paulsons are looking forward to being an important part of the Licking community.
“Of all of the physicians we’ve recruited recently, Dr. Paulson is the best fit for the Licking community,” said Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH.
Murray explained that Paulson’s decision to practice full-time at Licking was his own. “We recruited Dr. Paulson to practice in Houston, and he and his family made the decision to practice full-time in Licking,” Murray said.
“I’m excited about this opportunity for Dr. Paulson because of what he can accomplish for himself professionally,” Murray said. “Licking and the surrounding area will also benefit greatly from a physician of Dr. Paulson’s caliber.”
Murray pointed out that again a physician and TCMH staff members have worked together “for the best of the patients that we serve”.
All of the hospital staff that currently works in Licking and Houston will be retained in various capacities in both clinics.
“I appreciate the patience that the Licking community has had with us as we worked to recruit a physician,” Murray said. He noted that many times it takes well over a year to place a primary care physician in a rural area.
Murray encouraged area residents to stop in at the TCMH Family Clinic in Licking to meet Paulson and to welcome him. The hospital hopes to have a formal welcoming event for the Paulson family at the clinic when inclement weather chances have passed.
Ray Bruno and Terry Bruno, family nurse practitioners, both see patients on a part-time basis at the TCMH Family Clinic in Licking, and they will continue to do so, collaborating with Paulson.
TCMH will immediately begin seeking a full-time physician for the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston.
For additional information about Dr. Paulson or to make an appointment with him, please contact the clinic at (573) 974-3011.