Dr. Clarence Pearson performs the first coronary intervention through the right radial artery (wrist vessel) ever performed in Southeastern New Mexico. (Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, spring 2011) On April 1, he will open his own cardiology practice in Roswell on North Washington Avenue.
Record Staff Writer
When Dr. Clarence Pearson started working as a cardiologist at Carlsbad Medical Center in 2003, he made a promise to his patients.
“I wouldn’t be one of those doctors that came for a few years, and then leave,” he said.
Pearson is now making good on that promise. On April 1, he will open his own cardiology practice in Roswell on North Washington Avenue.
He said that having a private practice will allow him to serve patients at both Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, where he worked from 2009 to 2012, and Lovelace Regional Hospital.
“Both hospitals will be able to share in my expertise,” he said.
Pearson has quite a bit of ammunition behind his title of expert. He was the first in Chaves, Eddy and Lea counties to perform two cutting edge non-invasive heart procedures: balloons and stints, also known as coronary interventions; and radial catheterization.
The doctor explains that both procedures are less invasive than open heart surgery and allow for shorter recovery time.
Balloons and stints allows the doctor to insert a catheter through a patient’s artery to clear any blockages. Radial catheterization differs in that it is only done through wrist arteries and allows the doctor to either simply search for blockages or both search for and destroy clots.
By offering the procedures to patients of both hospitals in Roswell, Pearson said he can help patients by allowing them to be treated in their hometown rather than being transported to Lubbock or Albuquerque for treatment.
“Also, the sooner you get attention, the better you’ll do long term,” he added.
Sarah East will work with Pearson as his physician’s assistant at the office he plans to share with family medicine practitioner Dr. Karimian.
Since October, Pearson has been on a temporary job at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine. He finishes the job March 21.
Pearson started his career as a cardiologist with the U.S. Army in 1978, the same year he finished his medical degree at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Va. He completed his internship, residency and fellowship all in the Army.
He spent 20 years as a physician for the armed forces, working at Walker Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and in Germany, before retiring in 1997 from the positions of chief of cardiology at Walter Reed and director of the hospital’s cardiology training program.
From Walter Reed, Pearson went on to a six-year stint in North Dakota. He made his way to Southeastern New Mexico in 2003, when he took the position in Carlsbad.
Pearson was the first black physician at the hospital in Carlsbad. He said he faced some issues from other doctors at the hospital, but that the CEO and COO of the time, Fred Woody and Brad McGrath, were adept at dealing with the tension.
“They were very, very supportive,” said Pearson.
ENMMC was Pearson’s next stop. Following his time there from 2009 to 2012, during which his work earned the hospital accreditation for treating chest pain, he went on to Artesia General Hospital.
He stayed in Artesia until taking on his temporary job in Maine. He has used his time in Maine to prepare for his private practice.
Pearson’s wife, Vivian, said she has been comfortable and happy moving around the country and world with her husband.
“My philosophy is home is what you make of it,” she said.
She commented on how amazed she is by the appreciation patients show her husband. She said the doctor is careful to explain medical issues to patients in terms they can understand.
“The patients are appreciative and they’re really loyal, too,” she said.
The couple said they love living in Southeastern New Mexico.
Reflecting upon his successes, Pearson said he could not have done so much without the support of his wife, nurses, fellow doctors and other support staff.