We said goodbye to our family dr this week. He's retiring at the end of the month -- winding down his practice & selling the building where his office is located, not too far from where we lived when we were first married. The company that a friend worked for (headquartered in the area at the time) used to refer its employees to him; as newlyweds, some (gulp) 29 years ago, when we asked the friend if they could recommend a family dr, they sent us to him, and we've been there ever since.
Doc is older than my father (!) -- in his mid-70s. We knew this was coming, sooner rather than later, but it's one of those things you push out of your mind (like the cartoon: fingers in ears, "lalalala...") because you just don't want to think about it, and it was a shock when we finally got the call to start looking for a new dr.
That, of course, is easier said than done. Family drs -- who are taking new patients (let alone GOOD ones) -- are like gold these days, it seems -- both in small towns, where my parents live, and in big cities & suburbs like ours. Fortunately, a few new clinics have opened recently to meet the needs of the rapidly growing suburbs where we live. There's one near us that is expanding its practice with several new drs, and we have a "meet & greet" scheduled later this week with one of them. Fingers crossed...!
While I do wish Family Dr. had taken my concerns about not getting pregnant sooner more seriously, I cannot hold that against him, because on balance, he's been a damned good doctor in so many other ways. When I did get pg, he was delighted (in his own quiet way). He referred me to my excellent Dr. Ob-gyn -- who had delivered his own three sons (and referred us to other excellent specialists for other assorted issues over the years). When I called him, concerned about spotting, he called me at home to check on how I was doing; when I lost Katie, he also called me at home -- not the first time he called us at home to check in on us when we weren't feeling well. When I showed up at his office out of the blue in the throes of a post-failed-IUI panic attack (13 years ago tomorrow, as matter of fact...), he got his receptionist to give me one of her own Ativan pills on the spot, wrote me a prescription for more, & told me it was no wonder, I'd been through one major life disappointment after another lately.
It's not just him -- he's had the same receptionist and nurse -- his wife! -- for years; we're going to miss them too. His wife hugged us both; I got all teary and I think she did too, a little. It must be hard for them; we only have to say goodbye once but they are doing it every time a patient walks in these last few weeks.
Thanks, Doc (& staff). Happy retirement!