Radiologist Spotlight: Lawrence E. (Larry) Southworth, MD

In 2010, Newsletter, Physician Spotlight, Volume 2 Issue 1 by Addison Clark

In an age of specialists, Dr. Larry Southworth is a true Renaissance Man. He is not only a physician; he is also a painter, musician, antique collector, world traveler, and devoted grandfather. Board certified in diagnostic radiology, Dr. Southworth has practiced at Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg for 40 years. Based at Mary Washington Hospital, he consults on patient cases from throughout the RAF system. “I love what I do,” Dr. Southworth said. “I’m one of the happiest doctors around.”

A Virginia native originally from Bowling Green, Dr. Southworth received his bachelor of arts premed from the University of Richmond and his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, where he also interned in medicine and surgery. After serving for two years in the U.S. Army as a medical officer, stationed at the Pentagon, he completed his residency in diagnostic radiology at the Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina.

“Over the course of four decades, radiology has changed almost beyond recognition,” Dr. Southworth noted. “When I started with RAF, we had just plain X-rays. Today, we have every technology available and have evolved to become an integral part of patient care. It’s a challenge to stay on top of the latest technologies and resources. But it also keeps me fully engaged in, and energized by, my work.”

In his time away from his practice, Dr. Southworth enjoys painting, an interest spawned at a young age. Most of the subjects in his oil paint- ings are inspired by nature scenes, typically rendered in hues of red, yellow, and bright orange. His art has been displayed at LibertyTown Arts in Fredericksburg and Griffin Gallery in Colonial Beach.

[box] In an age of specialists, Dr. Larry Southworth is a true Renaissance Man.[/box]

“When I can, I paint first thing in the morning, last thing before I go to bed, and intermittently on the weekends,” he said. “There is so much beauty to capture and share.”

Dr. Southworth’s passion for art has been furthered by his world travels. His favorite destination is Provence, on the Mediterranean in the south of France, where many of the world’s most renowned painters converged in the 19th and 20th centuries. “I enjoyed retracing Van Gogh’s footsteps and seeing what he saw,” Dr. Southworth said. “The landscape hasn’t changed much from his day.”

Dr. Southworth’s artistry extends also to music. He plays the guitar and spent many years with Fredericksburg bands. Although he no longer performs professionally, he still plays for his family, which includes his wife, two daughters who are both school teachers, a stepson, and five grandchildren, ranging in age from six months to 13 years. His 18th century home in downtown Fredericksburg, which is filled with period antiques he has collected over the years, is a frequent gathering place for family and friends.

At a time when many his age are retiring,  Dr. Southworth shows no signs of slowing down. “Every time I have a week or two off, I can’t wait to get back to my work,” he said.

He is often asked if there is a tie between his art and his radiology practice, since both focus on images. “Not really,” he said. “One is completely emotional and the other, scientific.” On the other hand, he noted, his work as a physician brings him close to the full realm of human feelings. “When a patient expresses appreciation, you know you’ve had a worthwhile day. You’ve brought something that matters to the table of life.”