My family doctor is retiring at the end of August. He sent out an e-mail to all his patients informing us that he is leaving his practice along with three of his colleagues, who are also retiring. Four doctors, all from the same medical clinic, retiring at the same time. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that before.

So that will leave the medical clinic with just one doctor after they retire. I was also informed that they could not find replacement doctors to come take over at the clinic. This means that I will no longer have a family doctor after the summer ends.

My family doctor has been my doctor for well over two decades. Over those two decades, I thankfully haven’t had the need to see him very often or when I did, it was for very minor or preventative reasons. I know others haven’t been as lucky and I feel very blessed in that regard.

While my doctor has earned a well-deserved retirement and I wish him well, the timing isn’t great for me. Though I feel like I’m in relatively good health, I am getting older. As you age, having a good and consistent doctor available to you is important. Seeing a doctor at a walk-in clinic is fine as a stopgap measure but building that relationship with a family doctor is different.

The fact that four doctors are leaving the clinic and they couldn’t find a single family doctor to replace them, with a built-in set of many patients is quite telling. There is something not quite right with the medical system in this province and I guess in most provinces as well. There are just not enough family doctors to go around right now.

I need to start the search for a new family doctor now, before I actually have a dire need for one. Who knows how long it’ll take before I find one.

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