Pierce made a decision to be happy and community is better for it

Published 8:59 am Thursday, September 3, 2015

Dr. Paul W. “Bill” Pierce III is an inspiration on a number of levels.

Pierce and his family, friends, staffers and patients celebrated 40 years of his medical practice on Tuesday. That’s an amazing accomplishment in and of itself.

However, the interesting thing about Pierce, an internist, is he didn’t start out in medicine. Pierce followed in his father’s footsteps and graduated college as a civil engineering and began work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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But he wasn’t happy in that line of work. Despite his years of education and training as a civil engineer, Pierce chose to make a change.

That kind of move, particularly when one has a family to support, can be scary and difficult to make. However, after a little reluctance, Pierce’s wife, Pat, signed on to the plan and Pierce went to medical school. The couple had been married 12 years when Pierce opened his medical practice.

Pierce made a decision that placed a premium on his long-term happiness and that of his family. It’s a decision that has served generations of Vicksburg residents, who have been his patients, well.

Finally, Pierce’s work ethic is something to be admired. “I figured he would work to 65 and quit. We’re nine years past that,” Mrs. Pierce said. In fact, Pierce said he has no plans to end his medical practice. “I’m going to work as long as God lets me,” he said.

In his 40 years of practice, we can can only imagine the number of joyful moments he has shared with his patients, as well as the number of difficult ones.

Vicksburg has been blessed to have a number of quality physicians who have left their mark on our city. Pierce is surely among them.