Richard grew up in Mississippi. While his three brothers chose law, he chose medicine and attended Kentucky Medical College, then served as a general practice physician and state senator in Mississippi. His brothers and sisters all moved to Texas before the Civil War, but when it began in 1861, all the brothers joined up to fight. Richard’s twin, Colonel Isham Richardson, died in the battle of Harrisburg. All the other brothers became generals. When the war ended, General Harrison returned to find his practice destroyed and his house and lands laid waste, so he moved to join his brothers in Waco.
James became friend and adviser to long-time Waco attorney Richard Coke, the 15th governor of Texas, and a key figure in creating the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (A&M). Thomas was another prominent lawyer of early Waco. Richard chose a quieter remote McLennan County location, and opened his general practice and farm east of the Brazos (just east of current I-35 and south of 6), a far piece from where most Waco physicians practiced. When he could be pried loose, he was a popular and colorful speaker all over Central Texas at barbeques and rallies. But mostly, he liked to be known as an old-fashioned country doc.
TwilaDawn Lovett, M.D.
Twila finished medical school at Texas Tech in 1991, but didn’t get to Waco until 2003, when she and her husband moved back to Texas from Jasper, Alabama. She worked as a hospitalist at Hillcrest (BSW) for a few years, and now serves as palliative care physician at BSW Hillcrest and interim director for Hillcrest Rehab. She was president of the medical staff at Hillcrest in 2007, and has enjoyed doing medical mission trips to Honduras and Haiti.
What do you hope to see happen in Waco medicine?
National changes have begun to affect our medical community in Waco but we still enjoy a good amount of autonomy. I hope that we, as physicians, are able to regain a measure of the trust and respect we had been afforded in the past.
If there is one message you’d give to today’s physician, what would it be?
Medicine is becoming less of a business opportunity and more a calling to serve the health & wellbeing of our community.