Mizell to host meet, greet for Dr. Spurlin

Published 12:02 am Friday, March 27, 2015

Dr. Richard Spurlin of Opp is an American success story.

Spurlin’s book, “From Poor Farm Boy to Physician: An Autobiography” was recently published and a meet and greet to honor the beloved family physician will be held on Sunday from 2-4:30 p.m. in the lobby of Mizell Memorial Hospital.

Richard Spurlin

Richard Spurlin

Spurlin said the book tells his life story and the idea to write the book came to him when he went back for his 50-year medical school reunion.

“There were several of my classmates there,” Spurlin said. “We were telling stories and I was telling some of mine. Some stories related to my practice in Opp and my time in Vietnam. They were all intrigued about it and told me to write it down.”

Spurlin served in the U.S. Air Force as a surgeon during the war in Vietnam. He was stationed at Cape Kennedy when astronauts were sent to the moon and at Maxwell Air Force Base.

Spurlin, who has been a physician for 52 years, practiced in Opp for 33 and a half years.

“There’s history, humor and a lot of things in there, even humility is brought out in the book,” he said.

Spurlin said his father died when he was 4 days old, leaving his mother to take care of him.

“My mother never remarried, and there was no such thing as welfare, but we survived,” he said. “I was able to overcome the poverty, the sickness and anguish that I showed in my book and still become a family physician.”

While he didn’t have a source of income to help him go to college, Spurlin was able to earn his bachelor’s and medical degrees on scholarships.

Spurlin said it took him six to eight months writing the book in long hand on five long legal pads.

The book is 179 pages long and is published by Hulon Press, a Christian publishing company out of Miami.

Spurlin said he received his book about three weeks ago.

“I was excited,” he said about receiving the book. “I was impressed when I had it in my hands.”

Spurlin’s book is retailed at $14.99, but can be purchased as an eBook for $7.99.