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Thursday, July 22, 2010

100-Year-Old Doctor Still Making Rounds

Georgia Gynecologist Delivered Generations of Babies


Play CBS Video Video 100-Year-Old Baby Doc
Augusta, Ga. resident Dr. Walter Watson is the oldest practicing physician in the country, and he has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Steve Hartman continues the series, "Assignment America."

Dr. Walter Watson has delivered 10 percent of the babies in  Augusta, Georgia.
Dr. Walter Watson has delivered 10 percent of the babies in Augusta, Georgia. (CBS)

(CBS) Did you hear the one about the 100-year-old gynecologist? Dr. Walter Watson of Augusta, Georgia still sees a few patients every day. Then, he drives himself down the block to University Hospital where he still serves as chairman of his department.

In recent years, Dr. Watson has delegated most of his duties to other doctors, which is good, because I followed him around the hospital for an hour and never saw him directing much of anything.

The staff clearly loves him, and he loves them. But it's the patients who seem to most appreciate Dr. Watson and his tireless, unending devotion to medicine. Between 1944, when Dr. Watson delivered his first baby, and 1995 when he stopped doing obstetrics, Dr. Watson ushered in a small army of satisfied customers.

Today, they're known simply as the "Watson babies." They range in age from 15 to 66 and their ranks are innumerable.

So how many babies has Dr. Watson delivered?

"Somewhere between 15,000 and 18,000," Dr. Watson said.
  • Dr. Walter Watson, 100-years old, has delivered 18,000 babies in  Augusta, Georgia.

    Dr. Walter Watson, 100-years old, has delivered 18,000 babies in Augusta, Georgia. (CBS)



That's nearly 10 percent of the entire Augusta population. Many families have 3 generations of Watson babies.

"We went to a basketball game one night and he looked at the program and said, 'I delivered every one of these kids,'" said his wife Audrey.

Audrey says her husband delivered so many babies he rarely saw his own family of five. But Audrey says Walter told her when they got married she'd always be third in his life - behind God and his patients.

Dr. Watson plans on being around for a little while longer. He's even started taking new patients - three in the past couple of months.

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