By Molly Pledger
Dr. Hubert Spears, a staff physician at University Health Services at the University of Mississippi, has a passion for people and doing good in his community.
Spears, 66, is a graduate from the University of Mississippi. He was born in Grenada and throughout his time growing up in a small town, Spears always looked up to his coaches and teachers. Some inspired him to go into a career in education.
However, his high school chemistry teacher discouraged Spears from majoring in education but instead pushed him to study law, accountancy or medicine.
“Growing up in a small town and not having any college graduates in my large extended family, I really didn’t know much about what lawyers, accountants and other professionals did, but I had a pretty good idea of the good a doctor could do,” Spears said.
Spears graduated from Ole Miss in 1977 and completed medical school at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. After graduating from medical school in 1980, Spears completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine and affiliated hospitals in Memphis.
Spears has practiced general surgery in a few locations in Mississippi and West Tennessee.
“My practice here at Ole Miss is markedly different from my prior surgical practice,” he said. “In the past over half of my time was spent in the operating room. Now I practice entirely in the clinic.”
Although his job with the University Health Services is different from his previous positions as a surgeon, he still gets to do minor procedures like removing skin cancers and irrigating small foreign bodies out of the eyes.
Spears believes that patient care is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding parts of practicing medicine.
“Of course, the greatest honor is getting to meet the patients and their trust and appreciation they express to me,” he said.
Dr. Travis Yates, director of the University Health Services, has seen Spears’ passion for quality patient care.
“He offers an additional source of compassionate and competent care that our faculty and staff have become accustomed to,” Yates said.
Working with patients is one of the few commonalities between Spears’ job at Ole Miss and his experience of general surgery. Although working with patients has always been a highlight for Spears, it can also cause some of the lowest points as well.
“The hardest part of my career,” he said, “has been dealing with the devastation of working my hardest on the care of a patient and still having an undesired outcome.”
Dr. Jean Gispen, who works alongside Spears, enjoys having him on the team, and not only for his ability to perform minor procedures.
“He also has excellent skills in family practice and internal medicine, learned from years of pre-op and post-op care of his surgical patients,” she said.
And it takes only a few words for Gispen to describe Spears’ style of medical care:
“He is a careful and kind physician.”