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AUTOBIOGRAPHY James Gilbert Lyerly - page 8 / 8





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worst and doctors told me they were seeing only a few patients daily. During the three summer months, I probably saw only three or four patients in my office. I did not have hospital privileges because of the slack summer period and the depression.

Fear overcame me that my assets would soon be exhausted, with little or no income. I gave serious thought of returning to Richmond and start a practice on my own. Emily and I decided this would be the thing to do. Therefore we moved back to Richmond in October 1933, moving our furniture to an apartment on Monument Ave. and opening an office in the Medical Arts Building. I started seeing patients and doing surgery on my own and was able to save $10,000.00 that year. All the time I did not feel comfortable being close to Dr. Coleman, whom I could not help from feeling antagonistic in a way. After arriving in Richmond I received notices from hospitals in Jacksonville that I had medical and surgical privileges. The delay was due to the fact that the hospital staffs did not meet during the summer months and did not act on my application until later in the Fall.

Since my assets were better, Emily and I decided that we would return to Jacksonville to make it our permanent home through thick and thin. I fel there were sick patients there who needed my help and that my practice there would increase in time.

In October of 1934, escaping the slack summer months, we returned to Jacksonville, this time in one car. WE still owned the house on Hollywood Ave. which had been rented out for the year of our absence. When we arrived in Jacksonville late at night, we registered at the Seminole Hotel. About midnight the telephone rang with a call from Dr. Ralph Green, who was informed previously of our expected arrival date. He had called every hotel in town until he located me saying he had a patient in Riverside Hospital unconscious who needed an immediate operation. As I recall, Dr. Frank Slaughter, a general surgeon then, assisted me in the operation. We found the blood clot compressing the brain and successfully removed it saving his life. The next morning I visited the patient. He was conscious and eating breakfast. This case gave me a good start in my practice.

I opened an office in the Medical Arts Building, 1022 Park Street. My practice started then, increasing day by day. In 1938 Walter Shelly, a realtor, asked me to move to an office downtown in the Greenleaf Building which I accepted. Also, in 1938 George Simms, with Telefare Stockton Realtors, told me the Telefare Stockton home at 1878 Avondale Circle and on the St. Johns River was for sale to settle the Estate. As a matter of fact, I traded our home on Hollywood Ave. as a down payment for the Stockton house.

My practice increased so that I took on assistants, associates and later formed partnerships in practice. I will go into details about the practice from time to time. In due time, we moved our office from Greenleaf Building downtown to the Southside in the Marshall Taylor Doctor’s Building, near the Baptist Hospital. Within several years, we built our own office building at 2545 Riverside Ave. I retired from practice in 1971, but the building is still in operation, being occupied by a group of neurosurgeons known as the Lyerly Neurosurgery Group. For a full description of my neurosurgical practice in Florida, see the Journal of Florida Medical Association dated November 1975.

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