GHS grad becomes board certified plastic surgeon

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Dr. Cindy (Deutmeyer) McCord is pictured with her husband, Jarrod, and children Kinnick (left) and Kraigyn. Cindy is the daughter of Ken and Margie Deutmeyer of rural Guttenberg. She has three brothers: Kraig (died in infancy), Todd (owner of Guttenberg Precision Machining) and Terry (TDS Automation in Waverly) and sister-in-law Tracy of Fairbanks. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Ken and Margie Deutmeyer are proud of the accomplishments of their daughter Cindy Deutmeyer McCord, a small town girl who dreamed of becoming a doctor. Over the course of three decades, a marriage, two children, and nearly 20 moves all around (and out of) the country, McCord recently completed her training and is now a board certified reconstructive surgeon practicing in Gadsden, Ala.

McCord graduated valedictorian from Guttenberg High School in 1993. She attended Cornell College in Mount Vernon, then moved to Lincoln, Neb., to study for a Master’s Degree in biological sciences. She taught biology and microbiology at the ‘Big Red,’ while working full time at Pfizer Laboratories. 

In 2001, McCord enrolled at St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. After two years studying in the Caribbean, she completed her doctorate in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2005. 

The moves continued as McCord completed her first year of surgical residency in Providence, R.I., at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital. Her second year was spent at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nev.; and her third and subsequent years of study took place in Charleston, S.C. McCord completed her surgical residency program in 2011 at the Medical University of South Carolina. 

Not being content with general surgery, she continued at MUSC with a three-year fellowship in plastic, reconstructive, and hand surgery. During her fellowship, McCord and her husband, Jarrod, were married. The couple started a family, and McCord passed the oral examination for general surgery when she was five months pregnant with their first child, daughter Kraigyn Skye. Just ten days after completing the fellowship in June of 2014, McCord gave birth to son Kinnick Thomas. 

“We moved 18 days after that,” McCord told The Press. “During my extended maternity leave of about five months, I was able to study for the first part of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery boards, the written exam portion. I passed, but still need to pass the oral examination portion for full board certification in Plastics.”

The next move took the McCord family to Gadsden, Ala., a city about 50 minutes northeast of Birmingham, where McCord currently works for Riverview Regional Medical Center as a plastic surgeon. 

“This hospital has never had a full time plastic surgeon before, so I am essentially creating a practice from the ground up. The practice is called Renew Plastic Surgery,” McCord explained. In order to promote her new practice, the hospital has utilized a grand marketing scheme including radio, print ads, and advertising with McCord’s photo on three billboards located along major roads in Gadsden and Southside, Ala. 

One more move is in the works for McCord and her family, but this one will hold more permanence. The McCords are building a new home near McCord’s practice and the Coosa River, which helps McCord feel at home in Gadsden. 

“The moving was definitely responsible for making things more complicated. However, it also allowed me to experience many areas of the U.S., and ultimately helped in the decision of where to practice. I interviewed in larger cities including Atlanta, Ga., and Denver, Colo., but ultimately chose a small city. Gadsden actually reminds me a lot of Guttenberg with the small town feel, focus on family, and being located on the banks of a river. It certainly helps that we are near my in-laws, and just two hours from Atlanta to get my "big city" fix,” McCord said.

“I feel fortunate to have experienced living in many different environments-- from small town Guttenberg to big cities like NYC – my favorite. It made me very aware of the differences in culture, customs, cuisine, and attitude that exist in the U.S. as well. Living out of the country for two years also put things into perspective, and reminded me of things we take for granted in the U.S.”

What began as a young girl’s dream has finally become reality. “There were tears shed on numerous occasions when things became difficult and happy tears when things finally came to fruition,” recalls McCord’s father, Ken.

“My route to becoming a plastic surgeon was not traditional whatsoever, but the challenges and experiences have made me more appreciative of what I have attained. It has always been my goal to help people, and there is no better way to do this than by becoming a physician,” said McCord. “Combine this with a love for art – thanks to Mr. [George] Killian – and Plastic Surgery just seems to have been my calling. I am excited to be helping the residents of Gadsden and northeast Alabama.”

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