Hospital gets new radiologist

TV Hagenah

Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital’s new head of radiology is Craig Northcutt, most recently of Kentucky and before that of San Fancisco, Calif.

“We are very lucky to have him,” said Hoyt Skabelund, director of the Trigg Memorial Hospital. “I can’t tell you just how excited we are to have someone of Dr. Northcutt’s caliber at our hospital.”

According to Northcutt, what brought him to the High Plains of New Mexico and took him away from the blue grass of Kentucky was, ironically, mildly medical.

“Asthma, my wife’s,” said Northcutt.

The new head of hospital radiology said in addition his wife suffered horribly from a number of different allergies in Kentucky, many of them related to the grasses and mold in the grasses of the area. So he began looking for a drier climate for the two of them.

“And when this opened up, it looked very good.” said Northcutt who holds licenses in California, Iowa, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Washington, Montana, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Wyoming. The move has also helped his wife’s health.

“She’s doing very well,” said Northcutt. “And you know, I love it. I’m having a very good time.”

Northcutt said the area has a number of things that keep him in the area. He said he likes to ski, bike ride, play the keyboard and write short stories. All, he says match up well with the Tucumcari area.

“That’s one of the nice things about a small hospital,” said the new Tucumcari resident. “It lets you have more time to yourself.”

The new doctor said that he and his wife are very happy to be in Tucumcari and only a small part of that comes from healthful benefits of the climate.

“The people here are great,” said Northcutt about the Quay County population. “The people of area and the people with whom I work, they are all wonderful. The hospital staff, the referring physicians, I can’t say enough nice things about them. I’ve had several chances to go, but the people keep me here.”

Northcutt said it really is no wonder that he has adapted to Tucumcari as well as he has because he sees himself as a son of the Southwest since his father grew up in Arizona with a Navajo mother and he himself grew up in Southern California. He also went to college in Southern California, played semi-pro tennis there, spent 25 years as a physician in California and even retired there. But the retirement, he said, didn’t take.

“I just wasn’t a good househusband,” said Northcutt. “I’m too compulsive.”

Thus he set off first for Kentucky and finally Quay County.
Northcutt and his wife have five children who he said are spread throughout the country with two in Boston, two in Missoula, Montana and one in Oregon. Another reason the doctor is staying in the area is that he feels that he can make a difference in the area, not only as the head of radiology at the hospital, but also with the general problems facing the region.

“I’d very much like to help the area grow,” said Northcutt, “not ugly growth, but healthy growth. I think there are some very healthy prospects.”