The Times and Democrat
Physicians have a special place in communities, especially those who dedicate their lives and careers to one community. And if the doctor is a pediatrician serving the children of a community, he or she has been known and loved for generations.
Such is the case with Dr. Marion R. Caughman, who died on November 22 at age 93. He and Barbara, his wife of 70, came to Orangeburg in 1959, where he worked as a partner in the Children’s Clinic with Dr. Jack Rheney. He joined the pediatric clinic in 1990 and practiced with Dr. Thomas Gue and Dr. Ben Pendarvis until he retired in 2004.
dr. Caughman saw much change in his half-century career.
During an interview in 2004, he said, “The two most important changes have been in public health. Vaccination has reduced the diseases we see today. We used to see polio, typhoid fever, diphtheria and measles epidemics, which we don’t see today. Meningitis was a common thing we ran into but we rarely see it with immunization these days, the exception would be meningitis in a newborn which we still see but a vaccine is being worked on to give mothers to prevent that .”
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He continued, “A regional center has been developed in Columbia, Charleston, Greenville and Florence to care for these newborns in need. As far as Orangeburg, Dr. Tom Austin at Richland Memorial has set up a wonderful program in which these newborns go there by special ambulance. They were supposed to come down to pick up these babies. He did a great job there.”
Caughman also engaged in home visits, a practice he was glad to end.
“Back in the 60s, some house calls turned out to be the most unusual. You can’t believe the incidents that happen with house calls. I don’t think I want to go into that,” he said, laughing.
Caughman praised Orangeburg as a good community for his family and others.
“The community was great to live in and for my kids to grow up in. It’s close to both Columbia and Charleston, and you can’t beat the people here in Orangeburg.”
He knew the community and its people well, with his service along with that of the other retired pediatricians referred to and those practicing today, giving Orangeburg parents the opportunity to receive top-notch care for their children.
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Echoing his T&D obituary, “Dr. Caughman has served in the tripoint border for more than 45 years, providing compassionate and personalized healthcare to thousands of children.”
We thank him, his family and his colleagues.
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