Kelsey-Seybold co-founder Dr. Mavis P. Kelsey lives in retirement here in Houston.Î¾ He's now 96.
"When we started here, we weren't making any money, and we had to make a living.Î¾ I had a half-time job at M.D. Anderson Hospital for 16 years."Î¾
Dr. Kelsey was the grandson of a country doctor in northeast Texas, and learned about house calls as a child.
"And he'd already retired from practice, but he still had a buggy and a horse, and made [an] occasional house call.Î¾Î¾And I rode in the buggy with him sometimes!"
Ed: "What's the hardest thing in medical school?"
"I think it's the huge amount of stuff you have to learn.Î¾ That's where a lot of people don't make it."
Dr. Kelsey opened his first office in the Texas Medical Center in 1949, pioneering the multi-specialty group practice model in Houston.Î¾ He had worked at Scott & White in central Texas and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota with Dr. William Seybold.Î¾
"Well, Dr. Seybold and I went to medical school together and got to be good friends, and then he came to the Mayo Clinic."
Ed: "The clinic concept — both of you? I mean, it was an idea developed together?"
"There's a lot of advantages to putting a group of doctors together.Î¾ You can have different facilities that you couldn't have by yourself.Î¾ Today, it's nearly all doctors, are joined in some kind of organization for that very reason."Î¾Î¾
The idea behind Kelsey-Seybold is to combine different medical practices under one roof, as the clinic's Ann Cook explains.
"I can bring my child to see their Kelsey pediatrician.Î¾ I can go for my Well Woman exam.Î¾ I can get my lab work done there, so I can get my X-rays. I can get my MRI. I can get everything done in one place."
Dr. Kelsey expanded the concept as Houston grew.
"Every time we tried something new, there was always 'some wanted it and some didn't.'Î¾ We had knock-down drag-out fights.Î¾ And, I'll have to admit, usually I won!"
Dr. Kelsey stresses the importance of the doctor-patient relationship.
"I think the most enjoyable, the most gratifying part of my whole career was seeing patients.Î¾ And I think we lose that when we limit patients to 15-minute office visits when they really need to spend an hour with the doctor.Î¾ We used to think that medicine men — like the Indians had medicine men — we thought they didn't know a damn thing.Î¾ But it turns out that they were as smart as they could be, and they — a lot of times — they took better care of people than we're taking care of them today!"
Ed: "In what way, because there was interaction?"
"Yeah!Î¾ Yeah, interaction.Î¾ And we began to realize the psychological aspects."
Dr. Kelsey still keeps up with medical advancements through professional publications.Î¾
"There's certain things I'm interested in — mainly whether they infect me or not!Î¾ I take, still take three or four medical journals.Î¾ For example, this DNA role in medicine — it's coming into use, and I try to read everything I can find on that."Î¾
Kelsey-Seybold now has more than 320 doctors in more than 40 specialties practicing in 18 clinics.Î¾
Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.
For more information, view http://www.kelsey-seybold.com/60.
The photograph was taken by Courtney Middleton Pfleger.