Hands on, family-oriented, and compassionate are perfect ways to describe Dr. Paul Gray, both professionally and personally. He is so committed to family that he chose obstetrics and gynecology as his medical practice.
Gray’s approach to life became evident early on, when he was a boy growing up in south Louisiana. One of five children, he learned the art of woodworking from his father.
“I am and have always been very procedure oriented, which is probably why I love wood working, when I have time,” said Gray, an OB/GYN with the Woman’s Clinic, PA, in Jackson, Tenn. “I always remember my dad loving to work with his hands. In fact, dad owned a car dealership, but I always remember him working back in the shop.”
As a teen-ager, Gray watched his father battle both Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. “I learned a great deal about the medical field during that time,” he said. “I saw what it took to be a good physician and the importance of taking time with patients.”
Gray earned his medical degree at Louisiana State University and completed his residency training at the University of Memphis. When Gray entered medical school, it was not with the intent of becoming an OB/GYN. In fact, he did his obstetrics rotation first to get it out of the way. “At the end of my rotations, I realized it was what I wanted to do,” said Gray. “It is so awesome to watch a baby being born and to be able to share it with a family. It can be such a happy time in their lives.”
Gray, who joined the Woman’s Clinic in 1994, has completed a medical acupuncture course, which included more than 300 continuing medical education (CME) hours of training. Hehas incorporated this training into his practice, offering medical acupuncture for the treatment of headaches, back pain, pelvic pain, and urinary symptoms.
Gray recently had the opportunity to put some of that training to use doing medical mission work through the ministry of El Ayudante (“The Helper”), a non-profit Christian ministry that serves children in Central America and Mexico. El Ayudante serves as a hub for ministering to the people of Leon, Nicaragua. Gray and a team of physicians went to lay the groundwork for a women’s healthcare program in the area.
Over the course of the 12-day trip, the team performed 350 free Pap smears at a clinic, which had not been used for two years. Gray hopes to get the program more organized with groups scheduled to go throughout the year. “We wanted to do more women’s health as cervical cancer in the area is on the rise because there was no one doing Pap smears,” said Gray, who will return with his family in July for another mission trip. “There is also a lack of education on sexuality, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.”
Family is an important part of Gray’s life, not only in the role he plays in other families, but in the one he plays in raising his own. The father of four children -- three boys Andrew, 11, Paul, 9, and Phillip, 7, and a five-year old daughter, Julia Cole -- Gray and his wife, Rebecca, have their hands full. The couple home schools their children with Gray helping teach the subjects of math, geography, and biology, when his work schedule will allow. “We feel very fortunate to be able to home school our kids,” said Gray. “They are our priority. Instilling in them the importance of a relationship with God and tom live that way is very important to us.”
The Gray family also stays busy raising horses and tending to their 25-acre farm. Gray’s wife grew up around horses and has shared that passion with the rest of the family. The Grays use the Parelli method in training their horses, which involves common sense psychology and communication with the goal of enhancing not only the relationship and communication with the horse, but within other relationships as well. “It’s natural horsemanship where you learn more about the psychology of the horse, why they do what they do. It helps in learning to ride and play with them,” said Gray.
All members of the Gray family enjoy riding horses so much so that daughter Julia has renamed herself “Julia Cole Bronco Gray.” The family has two horses of its own and boards four more horses, but takes part in all of the care and feeding for all of the horses. “I’m the farm helper, but the kids have chores that they are responsible for as well,” said Gray.
Gray is also putting his hands on the West Tennessee Physician’s Alliance, recently taking the helm as president of the independent physician association. “I’ve been a member of the IPA for 13 years,” he said. “It was time for me to take some responsibility for something that has been good for us as an independent practice.”
Between a busy practice, the farm, family, and mission work, Gray still tries to make time to recharge his batteries. In his spare time, he enjoys going back to South Louisiana to soak up the culture as well as to spend time fishing, which he refers to as “my valium.” “We’re hoping to find a smaller farm that would allow us more time for family,” he said.
The Woman’s Clinic, PA, was established in 1952 in Jackson. The clinic’s staff, which includes eight physicians and two nurse practitioners, specializes in obstetrics and gynecology.