Family physician returns home to practice medicine, raise family in Hamilton.


Dr. Shalor Craig

By SARA VANDEN BERGE

Dr. Shalor Craig grew up in Hamilton, Texas, where he enjoyed playing sports and working on his family’s ranch.


He loved the tight-knit community and outdoors lifestyle so much, in fact, that he returned to raise his family and practice medicine as a family physician.

I had a chance to speak with Dr. Craig while he was traveling home from a recent trip to College Station, and the interview felt more like talking to an old friend than a doctor I had never met.


“My dad was a veterinarian and rancher here and I grew up helping him,” Dr. Craig said.


When he headed to Texas Tech University for his undergrad, he hoped to one day return to Hamilton, but his career choice was still undetermined.

His initial plan was to major in engineering, then attend law school, but those plans changed after two doctors in his hometown encouraged him to consider a career in the medical field.


So he switched his major to biology and headed to the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston for medical school.


He completed his residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth in 2008 and moved back to Hamilton that same year.

“I knew it was a good medical environment and would be a good situation to work in,” he said of his decision to return home.


The city had also just built a new hospital and high school.


Dr. Craig praised the local education system as another reason he and his wife decided to raise their family in Hamilton.

“We have multiple homegrown doctors from Hamilton and I don’t believe that’s by accident,” he said.


Today, Dr. Craig works in two rural healthcare clinics as part of the Hamilton Healthcare System.


You can find him at the Hico Clinic on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and the Hamilton Clinic on Monday and Thursday.

The clinics offer wellness exams for women, adult and childhood immunizations, physicals and telemedicine visits.


Physicians there can also treat minor emergencies and perform minor surgical procedures.

“We have a large senior population and a lot of my patients are from Stephenville,” he said. “I also do quite a bit of dermatology and shoulder and knee injections.”


Dr. Craig said one of the benefits of working in a rural setting is that it allows physicians to develop long-term relationships with patients while providing a continuity of care.


“If a patient from the clinic is admitted to the hospital with pneumonia, I take care of them there,” he said. “Because it’s a smaller operation, it’s easier to keep the connection.”

He said getting to know his patients on a personal level and developing trust is one of his top priorities as a physician.


“I enjoy getting to know my patients and have developed relationships with many of them for more than 10 years,” he said.


Dr. Craig and his wife Melissa, a theatre and art teacher in Hamilton, have three sons.


You can reach Dr. Craig at the Hamilton Clinic by calling 254-386-1700 or in Hico at 254-796-4224.