Dr. Mark Lobaugh is seen in an examining room at his medical office, next door to Seton Medical Center Harker Heights Wednesday.

Val Valdez | Herald

With almost 10,000 baby deliveries in his 30-year career, Dr. Mark Lobaugh is accustomed to waiting.

And while Lobaugh, 58, waits for his first delivery of 2017 at Seton Medical Center Harker Heights, he still gets excited when he thinks about each baby he will bring into the world.

“What we do affects a person’s life forever, and we love providing a healthy beginning to a new life,” said Lobaugh, a staff obstetrician.

A California native, Lobaugh received his medical degree from The Chicago Medical School. Prior to coming here in 2006, he taught as an assistant professor at the University of California-San Francisco at the Fresno branch.

Lobaugh wanted to return to private practice and chose this area for several reasons; one of which, he is an Air Force veteran and saw the medical need in the community.

“All the obstetricians from Fort Hood were deployed then, so there was a major need for my new practice,” he said.

For several years, Lobaugh averaged more than 400 deliveries a year, but has reduced his workload to about 250 deliveries annually, or around 20 babies a month.

He is only one of two obstetricians in private practice locally.

“Dr. Lobaugh delivered the first baby at Seton in 2012,” said Melissa Purl, director of marketing and public relations, Seton Medical Center Harker Heights.“We knew we had a real hospital when we heard that baby crying,” she said.

A board-certified OB-GYN specialist, Lobaugh was on the steering committee to help design the hospital’s new women’s center with state-of-the-art facilities.

Among the differences that sets Seton apart from other local hospitals is its birthing rooms.

“After a delivery, the baby and mother stay in the same room, and the patients love it,” he said.

Another difference is with a C-section delivery, in which the mother recovers in the room and not in a separate recovery room for several hours.

“That is something I also pushed for since it keeps the baby and mother together,” Lobaugh said.

Dr. Lobaugh is the only physician in his family and was inspired to pursue a medical career after several life experiences, including a serious illness as an infant.

“It gave me a sense of how important it is to have a doctor in your life, so I went into medicine because I love helping people.”

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