In 1909, the Amicable Life Insurance Company was chartered and its founders began plans for a home office building which became the 22 story Alico building on 5th and Austin, finished in 1911, the tallest building in the South until 1929. Crowds came from far and wide to watch the 30 teams of men, mules and wagons remove dirt for the 45 foot deep foundation. For decades to come, many physicians had their offices in this building. The first medical director they hired was Waco physician leader Dr. G.B. Foscue.
Dr. Foscue was born near Jefferson, Texas, and graduated from medical school at the Long Island College Hospital in 1883, moving to Waco to practice general medicine a year later, and married Sarah Rowell two years after that. He became one of the key medical leaders to reorganize the State Medical Association, and was its president in 1904. He went on to be instrumental in passage of a one-board medical practice act, which formed the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners in 1907, which he served as its first secretary, his work being to verify the right to practice medicine of every physician in Texas.
While maintaining a large general practice, serving as a state medical leader, and working with insurance medicine, he also led Waco physicians, being president of the Waco Medical Association in 1890 and 1892, and even served as a delegate from Texas to the American Medical Association. He was well-known for his continuing medical studies, both independent study with journals, and frequent post-graduate medical conferences in New York and Boston.
Donald “Buck” Cross, MD
We met the first day of medical school at UTMB. Buck had graduated from HS in Hawaii, had spent seven years as a firefighter/paramedic in Killeen where he learned to love the medicine side of his job. So he studied at St. Ed’s in Austin and started UTMB medical school at 27. We were both older students and became study partners through medical school and friends for life. He went on for his internship at Emory, and then Scott and White for cardiology residency and interventional fellowship, arriving in Waco in 2002.
Glenn Robinson, president of BS&W Hillcrest Hospital, says of Buck, “Patients are not only drawn to Dr. Cross’ outstanding clinical skills but his down-to-earth approach.” He has served as chief of staff at Hillcrest, medical director of Cardiology for BS&W Hillcrest, and is the medical director for Killeen Fire Dept. He enjoys traveling with his daughter Kylie, and loves to fly fish in Colorado.
How do you feel things are in Waco medicine today?
We have two strong hospitals committed to doing good work. We have great physicians. Many don’t realize the quality of medicine provided in Waco. We are a diamond in the rough.
If there is one message you’d give to today’s physician, what would it be?
Our job still is very important despite some of the struggles we face taking care of patients. I still think it’s a privilege to do what we do.