New surgeon brings training and experience to South Mississippi Surgeons
story by Susan Ruddiman photos by John Stricklin and courtesy of South Mississippi Surgeons
The latest surgeon to join South Mississippi Surgeons group took a leap of faith to relocate his family and career to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Brooks Gray, M.D., F.A.C.S., moved into a new home in Ocean Springs right before Christmas. “We planned, intended, and made it happen that we had our first Christmas on the Coast. There were a lot of boxes, but we were in our new home,” he said.
Gray and his wife, Kim, have four children — two attend the University of Mississippi, one is a sophomore at Ocean Springs High School and the youngest is in sixth grade at Ocean Springs Upper Elementary.
The family had moved from the Meridian area where Gray was in a long-standing family practice. His grandfather and uncle were both surgeons. His grandfather, the late Leslie Rush, M.D., was instrumental in establishing Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian.
“I had a window in my career that if I was ever going to make a change, this was it. I’ve got some time left to practice, and am old enough that no one has to hold my hand,” Gray, 50, said. The skills he has brought to South Mississippi Surgeons are the training as a vascular surgeon as well as the experience of a general surgeon.
He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and Tulane University School of Medicine. His general surgery residency was at the University of Tennessee at Memphis and then — immediately after earning his undergraduate degree — he completed a vascular surgery fellowship at the University of Tennessee at Memphis.
“In my residency I worked with really talented, older fellows that I respected and admired. They were doing vascular surgery, and that’s what prompted me to go for something a little different,” Gray said.
He has witnessed and been involved in innovations over the years in the field of vascular surgery which involves dealing with diseases of the vascular system or arteries and veins.
“It turned out to be a great choice. Of all the specialties, there is some neat stuff. An aneurysm can be fixed with a small incision and wires. The patient can go home the next day,” Gray said. “Those procedures used to involve a stay of seven to 10 days in the hospital and a six week recovery.”
In addition, he also does general surgery using the cutting edge technology such as the da Vinci robotic surgery which allows for minimally invasive procedures. His broad general surgery experience includes breast, thyroid, parathyroid, chest, colorectal, biliary, skin and both open and laparoscopic procedures. Gray practices at Merit Health in Biloxi and Ocean Springs Hospital in Ocean Springs. He’s on call at both hospitals to handle emergencies.
“A gunshot or knife wound that has damaged a blood vessel can be handled by a lot of general surgeons.
But depending on its location or complexity, they may be inclined to have somebody who specializes in that
Gray sees patients at South Mississippi Surgeons in the Biloxi and Ocean Springs clinics. Most of his patients are referred by their primary care physicians.
As his family is settling into their new home, Gray is looking forward to enjoying the benefits of coastal life, including going deep sea fishing and trips out to the barrier islands.
“My wife and kids have been very supportive over this move. I’m enjoying a great community, and hope to be
a productive member of it. We are glad to be here,” he said.