Baby Makes Two: OB/GYN Department Is Formed
In the early 1900s there was no such thing as a specialty, and both doctors and surgeons would perform all-encompassing services to ensure the needs of the population were met. This rang true in Pinehurst. Both Dr. Clement Monroe and Dr. Michael Pishko, performed Obstetrics and Gynecology duties in between their other surgeries and clinical obligations at the hospital.
However, Dr. Pishko’s heart belonged to in the OB/GYN specialty, which was something Dr. Monroe noticed. “Within three years we called him a one-man hospital. He was a pediatrician, surgeon, and he could do it all well but I could see he was leaning towards OB/GYN. We badly needed that
specialty, and so we pushed him towards it,” Dr. Monroe was quoted as saying. While the OB/GYN department was officially founded later, when an additional surgeon arrived to assist him, Dr. Pishko is widely credited as the first OB/GYN surgeon on staff.
In Dr. Pishko’s long tenure he delivered more than 10,000 babies, and was highly regarded by all who worked with him. His influence stretched far beyond the walls of his exam rooms. His impact on his partners was significant, “I remember the most impressive thing I saw was when Dr. Pishko learned laparoscopy at the age of 63. He was always ready to learn something new. Every morning Dr. Pishko would walk his dog and listen to a training tape to keep abreast of the latest procedures,” fellow OB/GYN partner, Dr. Jerry Smith, explained. Dr. Kirby Kilpatrick, who worked as a partner in the OB/GYN department with Dr. Pishko, described him as a tough but compassionate physician, and a brilliant fellow as well.
Since the clinic officially considered Dr. Pishko both a general surgeon and an OB/GYN specialist, it wasn’t until Dr. William Allen joined the clinic in 1957 that the department was officially born. He would work with Dr. Pishko until 1977, and in that time, both Dr. Kilpatrick and Dr. Jerry Smith would join the group (in 1974 and 1970 respectively). These four are considered to be the original OB/GYN partners at Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, setting the stage for the growth and expansion of the department to what it is today, the Women’s Care Center at Pinehurst Surgical Clinic.
Besides being one of the original departments, the OB/GYN department also holds the recognition of hiring the first female surgeon at Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, Dr. Cile Williamson. As they grew, they also brought on more specialists. Dr. Clifford Long joined in 1981, specializing in GYN urology and pelvic floor reconstruction. Dr. Bill Terry and Dr. William Johnstone became team members in 1992 and 1993 respectively. While Dr. Terry brought laparoscopic surgery to Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, Dr. Johnstone introduced an even more specialized approach to the clinic, which was further influenced when Dr. Stephen Szabo arrived in 1998.
Overall, the OB/GYN department is one of the longest standing departments at Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, and for good reason. Current partners include: Dr. Terry, Dr. Szabo, Dr. Shayna Jones, Nadya Lally, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, Lissette Machin, MD, FACOG, Dr. Taylor McCauley, Chelsea Mitek, WHNP, Paige Resor, FNP, Midwife, Lillian Schnitzer, DNP, FNP-C, and Lindsey M. Vallet, MSN, NNP-BC, FNP. The advancements they provide the clinic are known nationwide, and they continue to grow today.
The Start of Specialties: Urology
When Pinehurst Surgical Clinic was first founded in 1946, the doctors generally worked in all specialties performing various procedures. They would do everything from splinting a broken leg, to delivering babies, and staffing the emergency department. In 1956, that changed with the arrival of Dr. Duwayne Gadd, who created the first department at PSC, the Urology Department.
While some records debate whether it was Dr. Charles Phillips or Dr. Gadd who arrived at the clinic first, Dr. Gadd is generally considered the third surgeon to begin working at PSC. It was, however, Dr. Phillips who actually recruited Dr. Gadd to come to Pinehurst. Dr. Gadd was a Michigan native, and graduated from the University of Michigan before joining the Navy.
After participating in the prestigious V12 program, Dr. Gadd applied to Geisinger for his internship. Unfortunately while working during his internship, the Korean War began. Luckily, a urologist had just left Japan, and Dr. Gadd soon found himself working in that role for 18 months. This kickstarted his interest and helped develop his talent in the field. All of that led him to the fateful day when Dr. Phillips invited him to join Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, and found the Urology Department.
Admittedly it was a bit of a selfish offer, as Dr. Phillips was quoted as saying he wanted to solely practice general surgery. He saw the opportunity to leave urology behind with the hiring of Dr. Gadd, and took it. The decision was a good one, and the clinic prospered within the walls of the hospital. “It was easy going, but with long hours. We had good staff, the hospital was small then, maybe 150 beds. It was quickly filling up and we often had beds in the hall,” he fondly recalled in Compassion and Excellence.
Dr. Gadd came to love the area, the practice, and the hospital. However, around the time the Urology Department was founded, the practice decided it was time to expand. “There was a lot of anticipation when we decided to build the new building. We had a lot of fun. The older members had been planning this for a while and mentioned it when I interviewed for the job,” Dr. Gadd said.
In fact, everyone felt pride in the new developments and Dr. Gadd was quoted as saying, “The clinic’s new home was a matter of some pride for the original doctors. It let people know we were on the move. As things progressed and we got all the specialists in, we had to refer less to Duke and Chapel Hill. They have always been cooperative with us, but we were proud to offer new services.”
The creation of this new official department was just what the doctor ordered. With this new official department created, and with their new building on Page Road opening its doors, these historic landmarks in Pinehurst Surgical Clinic’s history paved the way for more departments, and for the clinic to grow even further. In addition to these pivotal changes, more were soon to come. Stay tuned as we continue to highlight the tremendous history behind Pinehurst Surgical Clinic and its amazing doctors.
The Beginning: Dr. Clement Monroe
Before there was Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, before FirstHealth, and before Moore Regional Hospital, there was one doctor: Dr. Clement R. Monroe. He would not only play an instrumental role in the creation of what was then Moore County Hospital (MCH), but he was also the driving force behind the creation of Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, which first started within the confines of the hospital before growing into what it is today. In honor of the rapidly approaching 75th anniversary of Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, we wanted to take a journey through history and start where it all began; with one doctor and one vision for healthcare in Moore County.
While he would later become who most would consider the pioneer of medicine in the area, Dr. Monroe’s roots in the Carolinas go back further than when MCH was founded. Dr. Monroe grew up just outside of West End, North Carolina, and from what his relatives said, he always had an interest in medicine. Most of this comes as secondhand accounts, but some attributed his undeterred passion, and dedication to the medical field and his patients, to his struggles with his health as a child and his experiences growing up. He survived typhoid fever in his earlier years, and had a multitude of run-ins with rakes.
When Dr. Monroe left the area it was to pursue an education in medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1929, after Dr. Monroe completed his medical training he was invited by North Carolina Congressman, and good friend, Bob Page to leave his Baltimore home behind and come back to the area to play an instrumental role in what would become MCH. Dr. Monroe was intrigued and intimidated by the prospect of interviewing with some of the area’s most influential families. Although there are no records of what was said during that meeting, whatever Dr. Monroe said resonated with the group, and he was hired by the board as both the only surgeon and the hospital administrator.
That same year, MCH officially opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day with the help of the Duke Endowment, which provided one-third of the $225,000 cost of building the original MCH. Inside were 33 beds, a staff of 27 people, and a vision spearheaded by Dr. Monroe. This vision included healthcare for the masses in rural areas. During war times, surgeries even tended to be free and people would even barter and trade for medical services.
At one point, the hospital even bought a cow to be able to feed its patients, and farmers would bring in crops when they were admitted; all ideas spearheaded by Dr. Monroe. The Women’s Auxiliary Group, of which Pinehurst Surgical Clinic is honored to be spearheading the revitalization, would also assist in bringing in food from the farms to the hospital, and were vital supporters of the hospital during the war.
A hospital expansion followed shortly, and the bed count was increased to 80, which meant Dr. Monroe’s responsibilities grew. It was his job to add surgeons to continue to support the growing hospital. One, in particular, Dr. Michael Pishko, shared his dream to start a private practice, although the team was kept busy with the multidisciplinary work they performed at the hospital. In the ’30s and ’40s, surgeons were not specialized like they are now. One moment they were delivering a baby and the next they were stabilizing a broken leg.
Things would change in 1946. After being relieved of his administration duties, Dr. Monroe, in coordination with Dr. Pishko and Dr. William Hollister, presented a plan for what would become Pinehurst Surgical Clinic. The plan utilized the basement office as the clinic, and the hospital operating rooms for surgeries. It truly was a win-win, as the hospital could keep their surgeons on grounds and the surgeons could open the private practice they had envisioned. As you may imagine, the plan passed with a resounding yes and Pinehurst Surgical Clinic was formed.
Pinehurst Surgical Clinic was founded on the concept of teamwork, and a true dedication to delivering quality patient care. For nearly 75 years, these principles have shaped every aspect of our business — from customer service, to outpatient care, to medical training, and everything in between. Dr. Monroe provided an exceptional institution with an exceptional beginning.
This is the first in a series of articles detailing the formation, heritage, and history of Pinehurst Surgical Clinic.