Quitman doctor retires after 40 years of service

“I was the first black female physician in Wood County, and I think I might have been the first female physician in Wood County back in 1982 when I first started,” said Waddleton.
“I was the first black female physician in Wood County, and I think I might have been the first female physician in Wood County back in 1982,” said Waddleton.
Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 12:28 PM CST

QUITMAN, Texas (KLTV) - Dr. Beverly Waddleton has served the Quitman community for 40 years as a family practice physician.

Today the Wood County community, her family and friends gathered in the atrium of the UT Health Quitman Hospital to celebrate the legacy that Dr. Waddleton leaves behind.

“I was the first black female physician in Wood County, and I think I might have been the first female physician in Wood County back in 1982 when I first started,” said Waddleton.

Dr. Waddleton said she was also the first black woman to graduate from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Forth Worth.

She began her career as a solo family practitioner, a role she held for 22 years before eventually transitioning into working for UT Health as a family practice physician, due to feeling more like a businesswoman rather than a physician.

“She was so good to separate her family life from her professional life, and I just had great respect for her for knowing that boundary,” said Suzy Terrell, family nurse practitioner at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances in Quitman.

Terrell said Dr. Waddleton was one of the first doctors she worked with when she started her career as a nurse.

“What’s special to get to work with her is there are about a handful of us that are all from Quitman that came back to serve in our community, and I was lucky to be one of those and to get to work with Dr. Waddleton,” Terrell said.

Dr. Waddleton is also a 21-year breast cancer survivor and credits her faith as the driving force behind her four decades of practice. Many in the community have long-term connections with her.

“Dr. Waddleton and I were in high school together when she became a physician, and she moved back to her hometown to practice. I was immediately one of her patients,” said Brenda Hunter.

Hunter’s family has been taken care of by Dr. Waddleton for generations.

“I have relished the relationships that I have had over several generations and that will be what I miss the most, those relationships,” said Waddleton.

Dr. Waddleton’s father, Reverend Joe Waddleton, served as the first black mayor of Quitman from 1987 to 1990.