Three generations forge family tradition in medicine
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It's not uncommon for a family to remain loyal to a university or college through several generations.
But when Dr. Paul Harold Moore Sr. graduated from the four-year School of Medicine nearly six decades ago, he began forging a singular family tradition of sustained loyalty and service to the institution through three generations.
“I don't understand why anyone wouldn't stay associated with it,” Moore said. “You're around such good people and you get to do such good things.”
Dr. Paul Harold Moore in the 1959 UMMC yearbook, his senior year.
Before the family's association with UMMC commenced, Moore Sr. contributed 18 months of World War II service in the U.S. Army and earned a Master of Education degree at Ole Miss.
He was teaching and coaching at Louisville High School when a friend told him about a new program at his alma mater and encouraged him to try it.
“You could go to Ole Miss, and if you did well after a year, they would consider you for UMMC,” he said. His year at Ole Miss was a success, and, in 1955, he was accepted to the brand-new School of Medicine in Jackson
“I don't think that, when I finished after four years, there was anyone I didn't like,” said Moore, calling his class the “best group ever.”
‘I’D LOVE IT IF THEY ASKED’
After receiving his M.D. in 1959, he completed his medical training with a rotating internship at Chatham Memorial Hospital in Savannah, Georgia, and a radiology residency at the University of Florida in Gainesville before moving to Pascagoula in 1963 to join his brother-in-law's radiology practice.
He founded Singing River Radiology Group in 1972, and was its president until 1996.
Early on, his son also had his eye on UMMC.
“I was four to seven years old when dad was in school, so it seemed like a logical first choice,” Dr. Paul Harold “Hal” Moore Jr. said.
Hal was so set on medical school, his dad said, that he opted to go to UMMC after finishing at Ole Miss in just three years.
“I told him, 'You can go where you want, but I'd love it if they ask you [to attend UMMC] … .”
The School of Medicine asked.
“My dad and I had several of the same professors, since I went only 16 years after he graduated,” Hal said. Among his favorites were Dr. Peter Blake and Dr. Arthur Guyton.
“It was a wonderful four years that I wouldn't want to do again. I thoroughly enjoyed it and still have many good friends who were classmates,” he said.
After completing residency at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, he joined his father's radiology group; today he is its president. The former chief of staff at Singing River Hospital, he is its current secretary/treasurer.
The two older Moores also share a history of service to UMMC and Ole Miss, with both leading medical alumni and Ole Miss alumni groups at different points in their careers.
“I was the first president of the Alumni Association at Oxford that went through the four-year medical school program,” Moore Sr. said.
Dr. Hal Moore in his 1976 senior class picture.
Hal Moore is the current president of the Ole Miss Alumni Association.
“First and foremost, presidents of the alumni association must love the University of Mississippi,” said Dr. Dan Jones, Sanderson Chair in Obesity, Metabolic Diseases and Nutrition, and former chancellor.
“This is a role that is far beyond ceremonial and honorary,” said Jones, who is also director of clinical and population science for the Mississippi Center for Obesity Research. “The alumni president is a major advisor to the chancellor and university leadership.
“Both Drs. Moore served the university well with dignity and honor. During my time as chancellor, Dr. Paul Moore was a trusted advisor and friend.
“Dr. Hal Moore had the opportunity to lead during a time of leadership transition for the University and played a key role in continuing confidence and trust between alumni and university leadership.”
Naturally, the third Moore's profession and alma mater were all but pre-ordained.
“Growing up, I really didn't know anything else,” said Paul III. “No matter what summer job I tried, I always gravitated back to medicine.”
When he finished at Ole Miss, and then the School of Medicine, his father and grandfather were there.
“Having both of them present at my White Coat and graduation ceremonies was significant, and probably as important of an occasion for them as it was for me,” Paul III said.
Dr. Paul Moore III in his 2005 senior picture.
But the youngest Moore did choose a slightly different path, opting for obstetrics and urogynecology.
“I tried very hard to make radiology my passion, but in the end I gravitated toward procedure- and surgery- related specialties,” he said. “I enjoy seeing patients and developing those relationships.”
After his residency at University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, Lexington, and fellowships at Northeast Urogynecology in Albany, New York, and C. Paul Perry Pelvic Pain Center in Birmingham, Alabama, he spent two years in private practice before his desire to return to teaching led him back to UMMC.
“As I worked around the country, I felt I was as prepared, if not better prepared, than I would have been in any other medical school I encountered,” he said.
“Beyond getting a fantastic education the relationships were important. I still work closely with some of my classmates and they are some of my best friends.”
Now an assistant professor of OB/GYN, part of his role is interviewing and recruiting residents to UMMC - an act of loyalty that is in his blood.