Medical Minute 6-28: 101-year-old Doctor Still Making the Rounds

By: Vanessa Welch Email
By: Vanessa Welch Email

"I was born February 25th, 1910."

Even at 101 years old, OB-GYN Dr. Walter Watson is not a man who likes to slow down.

"I enjoy the work and I love to have something to get up for in the morning," said Walter G. Watson, M.D., OB/GYN, University Health Care System.

Since going into private practice in 1947, he's delivered so many babies, that after 15 thousand, he lost count.

"In fact in the fifties and sixties, I was averaging delivering 50 and 60, sometimes 70 a month."

Dr. Watson delivered 78 year old Sabra Allen's 5 kids, including daughter Joy and Joy's daughter Amy.

"You don't see doctors like that anymore."

And he's seen it all-including the mistakes pregnant women make-some common ones that even smart women make-sticking to your pre-pregnancy sleep schedule.

Research in the American Journal of OB-GYN found that women who average less than six hours of sleep nightly during their nine months had longer labors and were four times more likely to have a c-section. Another mistake-not taking your prenatal vitamins because they make you nauseous. When you do this, you rob your baby of nutrients needed for fetal development. To avoid feeling sick-always take them with food. Another biggie-eating for two. Your body doesn't need more calories to support the baby until the second trimester. Even then, you only need 300 more calories a day. And there's no need to cut out chocolate because it contains caffeine. A new study in the journal of early human development found that women who ate chocolate daily had calmer, happier babies. You can have up to 200 milligrams of caffeine daily. One Hershey's chocolate bar has only nine milligrams.

As for Doctor Watson- what's his secret?

"I eat right, try to rest, and get exercise; I think my body could stand it."

And he never misses a chance to say hello to a new arrival. While he doesn't deliver babies any more, he still makes his rounds at the hospital every day.

For more information on other series produced by Ivanhoe Broadcast News contact John Cherry at (407) 691-1500,


101 YEAR OLD DOC: Dr. Walter Watson's nickname is "Papa Doc." He has spent 63 years as an obstetrician and is still making rounds at the hospital where he works. Dr. Watson, who is from Augusta, Georgia, is thought to be the oldest doctor practicing medicine in the world. The previous record holder was Dr. Leila Denmark, also of Georgia, who practiced until she turned 102 in 2000. Dr. Watson still goes to work every day. “I stopped delivering babies when my eyesight got bad, but I do my rounds at the nursing stations and operating rooms just like I’ve always done,” Dr. Watson was quoted as saying. “I get up at 6:45, have my breakfast and get to the hospital by 8.30.” Dr. Watson doesn't plan on retiring any time soon. He and his wife have five children, 16 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.
(SOURCE: The Telegraph and Ivanhoe Interview with Dr. Watson)

PREGNANCY TIPS: Gaining the right amount of weight is important during pregnancy. According to the Institute of Medicine:
• If you were at a normal weight before pregnancy, you should gain about 25 to 30 pounds.
• If you were underweight before pregnancy, you should gain between 28 and 40 pounds.
• If you were overweight before pregnancy, you should gain between 15 and 25 pounds.
• If you were obese before pregnancy, you should gain between 11 and 20 pounds.

Diet is an important factor in ensuring a healthy pregnancy. Knowing what not to consume is also critical. According to, pregnant women should not eat:
• Refrigerated smoked seafood like whitefish, salmon, and mackerel
• Hot dogs or deli meats unless steaming hot
• Refrigerated meat spreads
• Unpasteurized milk or juices
• Store-made salads, such as chicken, egg, or tuna salad
• Unpasteurized soft cheeses, such as unpasteurized feta, Brie, queso blanco, queso fresco, and blue cheeses
• Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tile fish (also called golden or white snapper); these fish have high levels of mercury.
• More than 6 ounces per week of white (albacore) tuna
• Herbs and plants used as medicines without your doctor's okay. The safety of herbal and plant therapies isn't always known. Some herbs and plants might be harmful during pregnancy, such as bitter melon (karela), noni juice, and unripe papaya.
• Raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean)

For More Information, Contact:
Samantha Stough
Community Relations Specialist

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