Photo Caption Dr. McCullough with his family at the OU Alumni Day awards ceremony. (Front Row L-R) Dr. Mike McCullough, Dr. Gerald McCullough (Back Row L-R) Tanya McCullough, Kristi ten Kate, Ann McCullough and Marilyn McCullough. Not pictured: daughter Debbie Luthey.
He has quietly devoted 47 years of his life to the well being of Norman residents. Last Friday, he was recognized for his life-long dedication to medicine. The University of Oklahoma College of Medicine Alumni Association named Dr. Gerald W. McCullough the Private Practice Physician of the Year.
McCullough, a Bartlesville native, has practiced in Norman since opening his general, trauma and vascular surgery practice in 1962. He completed his training at OU, working on the first ten open heart surgeries done in the state.
After his training McCullough, who missed being drafted for World War II by one day, enlisted in the military and became chief of surgery at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base in South Carolina. After his time there, he spent a month traveling the country looking for the perfect place to open his practice. A former co-worker and pediatrician, Tom Thurston, suggested Norman. McCullough and his family have been here ever since.
From an early age McCullough knew what he wanted to do. In ninth grade he decided he would follow his uncle’s footsteps and become a doctor. During his career McCullough became a diplomat of the American Board of Surgeons, was chief of staff at Norman Municipal Hospital and later at Norman Regional Hospital. Tulsa surgeon CT Thompson and McCullough developed the Emergency Medical Service system for the state of Oklahoma. Dr. McCullough has served the state and the nation teaching advance trauma life support at all medical schools in a five-state area.
Besides taking part in major medical developments over the years, McCullough says his greatest reward has been the ability for care of people. “Patients have become a big family to me. Two weeks ago I did a surgery on a woman who is part of a family I’ve treated for four generations. She told me her grandmother, who is one of my patients, was going to stop by, so I took a seat and waited on her. I’m not as efficient as I used to be, I like visiting too much! Hearing about the families, the kids and grandkids, it gives me great pleasure.”
McCullough and his wife Marilyn have been married for 56 years. They have four daughters and a son. All but one of their children made it to the award ceremony. The oldest daughter was unable to make it because her daughter was graduating from medical school in Tulsa the same night.
McCullough was given the award during Alumni Day activities last Friday at the Oklahoma History Center. Also honored were Everett R. Rhoades, M.D. as Physician of the Year in Academic Medicine and Oklahoma State Representative Douglas G. Cox, M.D., Friend of Medicine.