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Hanging Up the Stethoscope

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Dr. Edward G. Cutshaw to Retire on Dec. 31

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – In today’s world of medical specialization, the family doctor / general practitioner in rural America is becoming increasingly difficult to find. You have ear, nose and throat guys. You have podiatrists, allergists, endocrinologists, dermatologists and so forth and so on.

What you rarely see anymore is the one stop shop where a single doctor and his medical team know you as a person, a friend and a patient. For over 50 years, however, one of these rare gems of physician has been Dr. Edward G. Cutshaw in Grapeland.

Since the early 1960s, if you spent any amount of time in Grapeland and needed any type of medical attention, you probably had the privilege to meet Dr. Cutshaw.

Recently retired, long-time Grapeland pharmacist Dan Walling recalled meeting his friend and business colleague when he first arrived in Grapeland.

“I was working in the store with my father when Ed came here to practice. At that time, the old hospital was operating and I remember my father had a heart attack,” Walling said.

“Ed – Dr. Cutshaw – put him in the hospital immediately, took care of him and basically saved his life. I always appreciated what a good doctor he is,” he said.

So what makes a good doctor? Is it the physician who cures the most diseases? Or, is it the one who makes the best diagnosis? Perhaps it’s the one who is the most compassionate and honest? Maybe, just maybe, a good doctor is the one who strives to attain all of these attributes.  And – in the estimation of many of his colleagues and patients, Cutshaw still embodies that ideal.

Shortly after graduating from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in 1958 he set up a medical practice in Grapeland. For years and years, he was the family doctor for countless families, performed physicals for the athletes of Grapeland ISD and helped run the old Grapeland Hospital.

Cutshaw has been awarded countless accolades from his peers and the community leaders of Houston County and Grapeland.

Walling recalled after Cutshaw had helped get his father back on his feet, he later had to treat him for cancer.

“A few years later, my mother also got cancer. Once again I was able to appreciate his kindness and his knowledge during those periods of time. As I got older, I have had to have him tend to me. I have always thought I could never find a physician who was as skilled and had concern for his patients,” Walling said.

Halfway joking, Walling said all the prescriptions Cutshaw wrote “… kept me in business for all those years.”

For the last several years, Dr. Cutshaw served the community through his practice at the Grapeland Clinic, now the CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Clinic.

Indicative of his passion to make the Grapeland community a better place to live, Cutshaw recently sold a parcel of land to Darling Ingredients, Inc. allowing the company to build a facility which will bring nearly 70 jobs to an economically disadvantaged area.

And now, after over a half century of service, Dr. Cutshaw has decided to hang up his stethoscope, ride off into the sunset and retire.

Walling added the city of Grapeland could not have done any better than to have Cutshaw as the town’s doctor. The pharmacist indicated his belief that the doctor’s decision to retire was very similar to his own.

“I feel like he has not lost interest or any of his skills, but age is eventually going to get all of us if we hang around long enough,” he said.

Still with a quick wit and spry as ever, Cutshaw turned 84 in April of this year.

A reception will be held at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Clinic located at 102 E. Main St. in Grapeland to honor Cutshaw for his years of medical service to the Grapeland and Houston County communities. The reception is scheduled to begin at 10 am and will last until noon.

From all of us at The Messenger, we would like to extend our thanks and appreciation for helping to take care of us and our loved ones. Best of luck in your retirement!

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.