Dr. Gib Palmer has taken the Sampson Community College’s popular slogan and added to it. The college’s slogan is Begin Here, Go Anywhere. In Palmer’s case, he began here, went several places and came back.
Dr. Palmer’s journey began more than thirty years ago when he met his wife, Robin, in Colorado. “We were ski bums,” he says. Both worked in local mountain restaurants in exchange for free ski passes as waiters, bartenders, and food preppers before realizing they wanted to do more professionally and get to North Carolina, where they wanted to live.
“There was an opportunity for us to run a family-owned dry-cleaning business that needed to be revitalized,” Palmer recalls. “We moved to Clinton in 1987 and ran Acme Cleaners and started our family.” The Palmers have two girls, Leah and Gracin, and a son named Field. It was during this time that Palmer enrolled in classes at Sampson Community College, while operating the dry cleaners.
Dr. Palmer at his office, flanked by staff members Kelly Williams and Brenda Hall.
“SCC gave me my re-start in education and helped pave the way for me to become a physician,” he says. “I have such fond memories of SCC and am so grateful to my SCC instructors. Dr Janice Thompson, Dr. Jung and Steve Branch were all here then and all played a major role in my success. The work was not easy, my SCC classes were very challenging and prepared me well. Ann Turlington who was my counselor at SCC was extremely instrumental in my journey as well. She helped navigate my schedule and classes and more importantly, she helped me realize that as an SCC student, I could go on to medical school and succeed.”
“Robin and Gib have been close friends since they moved to Clinton in 1987, and I was in awe of how they juggled work, family, and school for years,” says Lisa Turlington, Dean of Advancement at SCC. “I witnessed his journey through SCC, UNC, and ECU Medical School and was thrilled when they decided to return and serve Sampson County. In addition to Gib practicing medicine, Robin works for Sampson Regional Medical Center in fitness and community wellness, and their oldest daughter Leah is a physical therapist there. Health care is now their family business!”
After graduating from SCC, Palmer transferred to and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill while still managing the dry cleaners with his wife. “We did it together,” says Palmer. “It really was teamwork, as she took care of the kids and managed the dry-cleaning business while I was in school at SCC and UNC. We are a great team.”
Seven years later, the Palmers moved to Greenville for his medical school and residency at East Carolina University’s School of Medicine. “My degree was in biology, which I thought would be the best choice as a ‘pre-med’ student. Honestly, to get into medical school, I believe it is the prerequisites needed that are more important than the actual major chosen.”
The Palmers moved back to Clinton in 2001 and Dr. Palmer joined Clinton Medical Clinic as a Family Physician. Dr. Palmer, to this day, can still be found at his Clinton Medical Clinic located at 403 Fairview Street in Clinton. “It is one thing to say you want to do or be something, it is an entirely different story to understand what it actually takes to get there and then to actually do it. It is all about the grades, and mine started with the ones at SCC! I love SCC’s slogan – Begin Here, Go Anywhere! I truly believe I did that, and my SCC teachers and counselors helped me see that I could start here and go anywhere!” For more information about SCC or where to start to build your career path, visit and like the college’s Facebook page today.”