By Angela Peacock
Outstanding patient care and excellence in the art of medicine has won former Portales resident Laurie Marbas one of Texas Tech University’s more prestigious awards.
The Gold Headed Cane Award was presented to Marbas on May 18 by the Texas Tech School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences as a symbol of excellence in physician care.
The dream of becoming a doctor has been with Marbas since she was a small girl. Her mother, Pat Lockridge, said that after her youngest daughter Heather became ill and had to have surgery Laurie was determined to have a career in which she could care for people in need.
“Laurie was so inspired that there was a doctor who could operate on someone and make them all better that she decided from then on that she’d be a doctor when she grew up,” Lockridge said.
“I just walk around in awe sometimes because it’s just amazing to me to be around someone who could work so hard,” Lockridge said.
Besides undergoing the process of becoming a doctor, Marbas — a 1989 Portales High School graduate — is a married mother of three who also recently received a master’s degree in business administration. As if those responsibilities have not kept her busy enough, she has taken the time to publish six books, which help medical students learn how to study. Marbas said her seventh book is expected to be out by this fall.
The most difficult time of Marbas’ college career was trying to balance being a mother, making the grade and watching her grandmother battle breast cancer.
“It’s called no sleep,” Marbas said. “My faith is the number one reason I made it through. God has been very gracious to me and without him and my family there is no other way I could have made it, but whenever (my family) needed something God always took care of us.”
The Gold Headed Cane award began in England in 1689, according to a Texas Tech University news release. It was first presented in the U.S. in 1939 by William J. Kerr from the University of California who felt the science of medicine “should be more forcibly brought to the attention of students, faculty and to all those concerned with the care of patients.”
Since that time, a number of medical schools have adopted the Gold Cane Award to recognize individuals who have exemplified the characteristics of a desirable and caring physician, the news release said.