RENO — Harry Honeycutt has delivered more babies in Reno than he can remember.
“I’ve never really counted,” Honeycutt said. “It must be over 5,000 babies. I used to deliver a large number of babies every month!”
In celebration of today’s designated “Doctor’s Day”, the Daily Sparks Tribune selected Harry Honeycutt for his longtime service to the Reno area and his dedication to the University of Nevada, Reno in recognizing achievement in student athletes and his work in the community.
The soft-talking, kind doctor has served Reno mothers and handled their medical issues for 30 years from his office near Saint Mary’s Medical Center on West Sixth Street. He’s watched many aspects of the practice change over the years.
He’s had some patients from the time of their first pregnancy all the way through to menopause, he said.
“I like taking care of people the most,” he said of his practice.
Honeycutt started his practice July 1, 1970, when bellbottoms were all the rage and medical advancements were not up to the par that today’s technology has supplied doctor’s with today.
Honeycutt moved to Reno specifically, he said, because University of Reno, Nevada was nearby and he he enjoyed attending events, lectures and activities at the university.
“I’ve always enjoyed college sports, even though I was not good enough to be a walk on the first year,” he said. “I always like college sports.”
Every year, Honeycutt and his wife fundraise for athletic programs. He sponsors student athletes who attain higher grade-point averages.
“It’s pleasing to see athletes who are excellent students,” he said. “(Sports) take up all of their time. It helps to acknowledge them. They seem to like getting the awards. It’s being recognized as a good student as well as an athlete. Boys and girls both.”
Honeycutt has found that Reno is generally a transient town.
“Like many big cities, some of the same atmosphere of people move in and out of the area,” he said. “I’ve got patients I still take care of when they firsts got to town. But 10 to 15 percent change every year.”
Honeycutt said his job is to make sure he sees patients through the changes in their lives.
“I take care of seeing them through all their life,” he said. “It adds other chapters of the book.”
Medicine has changed through the 30 years of his practice, though.
“It’s not surprising to me, because as doctors, we have tried to make medicine an art, not strictly a science,” Honeycutt said “What is accepted as a truth today may not be accepted tomorrow. We have to be open to change as to how you approach any disease process. I think overall cancers have decreased in women because of pap smears and all you can gain out of that. YOu don’t see as many cancers as you see before treated them at an early stage. Now, it’s more of a nuisance as a true problem.”
Honeycutt said the technology has eased many of the issues he sees today.
“There are fewer problems for childbearing than back when I started in this business. They have found better ways that are less severe treatments to take care of problems,” he said.
Honeycutt believes there is a good reason he hasn’t burned out of his profession after such a long period of time doing what he enjoys.
“I don’t believe in burnout when you’re happy doing what you’re doing, with medicine or any other profession,” he said. “If you go into something for reasons other than that it helps you feel good, like you’re going into something to make more money or for more prestige or because your great aunt says you should do it, it’s not right. It’s got to be yours.”