By JAMES E. CASTO
For The State Journal
HUNTINGTON – The Scott Orthopedic Center will honor Dr. Tom Scott at an Open House from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13. The event will mark Dr. Scott's 50th anniversary of practicing medicine.
Founded more than 80 years ago, Scott Orthopedic, located in the Highlawn Medical Building at 2828 1st Ave., is the oldest medical practice in Huntington and one of the city's oldest businesses of any kind. The practice was established by the late Dr. Francis Scott, who came to Huntington from his native Michigan in 1929. For the next four decades, he was a leading member of the city's medical community. He retired in 1967 and died in 1974.
Tom Scott followed in his father's footsteps when he entered medical school at the University of Michigan and, like his father, became an orthopedic surgeon. He joined his father's practice in 1963.
Over the next few years, the younger Dr. Scott recruited a number of doctors to the practice. "Most stayed with us," he says. "Each brought a new and higher skill level. I benefited, as did the community."
Scott is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Physicians and former member of the West Virginia State Senate. More than 30 years ago, he performed the first total joint replacement in West Virginia.
But he says his greatest fulfillment has come in witnessing the growth of Scott Orthopedic Center. "Seeing it grow from a one-man operation to what it is today is almost beyond belief. Not only have we assembled a remarkable cadre of doctors, we've built an experienced support staff that is second to none. The median term of service for the members of our staff is 12 years. We count ourselves truly fortunate to have such loyal people working alongside us."
Now in his 80s, Scott sold Scott Orthopedics some years ago but is by no means retired. He still sees patients at the center every day. Some have been his patients for 40 years or more, he says.
Under Scott's leadership, public service long has been a tradition at Scott Orthopedics. "For the first 18 years of the Marshall University School of Medicine," he says. "We taught – without compensation – orthopedics to the students and residents." The doctors at Scott Orthopedic long have served as Marshall team physicians.
The center's physicians have provided training at the St. Mary's School of Nursing, the Tri-State Fire School and the state's network of Rural Health Centers. "Over the years we've contributed an absolutely incredible number of teaching hours," says Dr. Scott.
In 1980, Scott began making annual trips to Haiti, helping provide medical care for impoverished people there.
Working with the late Dr. Jose Ricard, Scott co-founded the annual Family Medicine and Sports Medicine Conference held in Huntington each year. Since the first conference in 1987, the event has steadily grown and is now the largest medical conference in the state.
Reservations are requested for Tuesday's Open House at the center. To make a reservation, call 304-525-1061.