Tuesday, January 25, 2022 Jan 25, 2022
56° F Dallas, TX

CARE THROUGH THE AGES

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GUY CULPEPPER family practitioner

“The most gratifying part of family practice is the 3-year-old running down the hall with his arms spread wide calling ’Dr. Pepper, Dr. Pepper,’” Guy Culpepper says.

At 35, Culpepper doesn’t fit the stereotype of the grandfatherly family doctor. But he has the attitude down.

The waiting room of his office in far North Dallas often is filled with patients of all ages. He’ll see a toddler with chicken pox and then an adult who can’t shake a cough.

When he graduated from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Culpepper knew he wanted to enter family practice.

“Medical school gives you a fragmented view of medicine,” Culpepper says, “and the continuity of care in family practice was very appealing to me-being a part of someone’s care and watching them age and go through changes.”

Family practice, Culpepper says, is the “anchor” that patients can hold on to as they progress through many specialists in their lifetimes.

After medical school, Culpepper, a Dallas native, came home to the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas for a residency in family practice. He disputes the notion that the truly brilliant doctors become specialists and the rest become family doctors. Culpepper says that many of his colleagues in family practice graduated at the top of their medical school classes.

“Family practice has no cookbook,” Culpepper says. “It requires doctors to shift gears intellectually many times a day.”

Culpepper claims he is one of the happiest physicians you’ll ever meet because he is living his fantasy. “Being a doctor is not a job,” he says. “A light turns on that calls you into medicine. You become a doctor, you don’t just work as one.”