John Armstrong Shackelford, MD, was born in Irisburg, Virginia, 1893, and attended school in Martinsville.
He attended Hampden-Sydney College where he was President of his class and captain of the football team. He then entered Johns Hopkins University and received his Doctor of Medicine degree after a two-year internship at Johns Hopkins and Union Memorial.
Although he received his formal medical education at Johns Hopkins, his training as a doctor had begun long before then. “I used to help my father, Dr. Jesse, with operations when I was a high school student. He trained me and taught me a tremendous lot. Practicing medicine wasn’t easy 33 years ago. I used to operate at night on a kitchen table by candlelight. There had to be someone standing by fighting off the flies.”
The Shackelford Hospital grew with the community but the time came when larger facilities were needed. Then Dr. John, along with leading citizens, began a movement that led to the construction of Martinsville General Hospital.
Dr. John was surgeon-in-chief in the Martinsville General Hospital, chairman of the Medical Advisory Board #34, and director of the public library. He also served on the advisory board of the State Board of Nurses, and was a charter member and past president of the Rotary Club. He was a member of the local and regional medical societies and the American College of Surgeons, and the American Medical Association. He was director of the First National Bank, Bassett Furniture Company and others.
Also See Article: Dr. Jesse Martin Shackelford, MD