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2011 Health Care Champion Honoree: Dr. Marcus McCorcle

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Dr. Marcus McCorcle’s interest in medicine dates back to his days as a student at Parkview High School, but he says obstetrics and gynecology was the last specialty he thought he’d pursue.

He helped launch Medical Explorers and spent time volunteering at local hospitals, where one job was to transport women in labor from the emergency entrance to the third floor of Cox North.

He recalls a time when the elevator got stuck, leaving him, a patient in labor and her mother inside.

“She delivered the baby into her pantyhose, and I had to cut (them) to get the baby out,” McCorcle says. “That scared me to death.”

After he completed his education, McCorcle was drawn into the OB-GYN field by emerging innovations such as ultrasound, laparoscopy and fetal monitoring for women in labor.

“I found myself enjoying surgery, but I didn’t like just operating on people and not seeing them again,” he says. “I liked family practice, but I didn’t like the fact that you couldn’t do surgery or many procedures.”

He found that obstetrics and gynecology was a good mix of surgical procedures and patient continuity, and he’s been in independent private practice as an obstetrician-gynecologist since 1981 and has delivered about 5,000 babies to date.

Contracts in place allow him to work within the CoxHealth system, he says, but independence brings control of practice operations, including spending enough time with patients to make sure all needs are addressed.

McCorcle served a five-year term, ending in 1996, on the state Board of Registration for Healing Arts. He also has lobbied for increased Medicaid reimbursements to improve access to care and helped get legislative support for more recovery time after deliveries and mastectomies.

“Now, it’s mandated that no insurance can be sold in Missouri that doesn’t allow for two days after vaginal delivery or three days after cesarean section, and, I think, two days after a mastectomy,” he says.

McCorcle volunteered as the first medical director of Pregnancy Care Center, which provides counseling and other services for unplanned pregnancies.

He’s now an ex-officio board member.

“(The center) provides pregnancy testing, ultrasounds and counseling, and the tendency is to try and help them see how they can maintain and keep their pregnancy (through) a pro-life philosophy,” he says.

Click here for full coverage of the 2011 Salute to Health Care.
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