Dr. Cameron Huxford completed medical school, internal medicine residency, and pulmonary and critical care fellowship at UMMC. Here, he shares his path to medicine, memories from training, and what he’s up to today.
I grew up in the small town of Eutaw, AL. I lived across the street from my grandfather who was also a physician. He graduated from the University of Mississippi Medical School while it was still in Oxford, Mississippi. While I was growing up, it was not uncommon for me to visit him in his office or go on house calls with him. Back then, he even had a makeshift office at his back door. I remember patients coming to his house at all hours of the day and night seeking his medical attention. My grandfather also loved football. Frequently in the fall months, he would also take me to Oxford and Jackson on Saturdays to watch the Ole Miss Rebels play. It was during these early years of my life that I decided I wanted to go to Ole Miss for my education and become a physician for my career.
My grandfather died when I was a junior in high school. I was attending a very small high school at the time. This, among other factors, led me to drop out of high school. I still had my goals in mind and wanted to get a jump start on them. My parents thought I was too young to go to Ole Miss, so I attended Livingston University (now the University of West Alabama) in what would have been my senior year of high school. While also working at the A&P Grocery Store in Eutaw, I managed to earn good grades during this first year of college. I then took my education on the road to Ole Miss. As an interesting fact, I am probably one of few physicians in Mississippi that does not have a high school diploma or a GED.
My years at Ole Miss were routine except for calculus. After dropping it two previous times, I signed up a third time as a senior still in need of finishing this class to graduate. Although I was only looking for passing marks, God had a wonderful surprise for me in this class. I met Mary Paige Darby. With the help of a good study partner, I finally passed calculus. A few years later, she would become my wife. After spending a few agonizing months on the medical school waiting list, I was finally accepted and made my way to Jackson and the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. Three years later, Mary Paige would make her way to Jackson and join the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry.
Ten years later, I completed my training as a Pulmonary and Critical Care physician. At the same time, my wife completed her training as a Pediatric Dentist.
Somehow, in God’s own sense of humor, we found ourselves in Starkville, Mississippi, where we both live and work. I currently work at OCH Regional Medical Center as a pulmonary, critical care & sleep physician. My wife co-owns and operates her own pediatric dental practice, Huxford and Lockhart Pediatric Dentistry.
We are the proud parents of seven children. We welcomed our first son into the home in 2005. By 2016, we had four sons. It was then that God had another big surprise for us. In September 2016, Mary Paige and I adopted my sister’s three children – two boys and one girl – bringing us to a total of seven children. Two professional careers and rearing seven children brings about many obstacles. Fortunately, there are lots of college girls in Starkville who enjoy making some extra spending money! A huge burden was lifted once our oldest son turned 16 and could shuttle everyone to and from school. Sadly, for many reasons, he is graduating from high school this year. So, for the next two years, my wife and I will find ourselves in the carpool line again.
In February 2021, Mary Paige and I will celebrate our 18th year of marriage.
I am very thankful to the University of Mississippi Medical Center for giving me a chance in 1998. After my first day of Gross Anatomy, I remember going to Hal & Mal’s and commiserating with a classmate whether we had made a big mistake! After sticking it out and completing 10 years of education and training, I offer UMMC my deepest thanks. Being a physician is the best career in the world. To be certain, there are challenges to a career in medicine and COVID has brought unimaginable ones, but I have never second guessed my career choice. With the benefit of time and perspective, I look back to my days at UMMC as some of the best times of my life. Thank you!
Pictured below: Dr. Huxford, his wife Dr. Mary Paige and their 7 children – Ashton 18, Patton 14, Jaxson 13, McCoy 13, Baylor 12, Hughes 8 and Kendra 7.