Twenty-five years ago today, I hung out my shingle.
That’s a long time. Not quite half my life ago, but getting closer to that benchmark every day.
Twenty-five years. Wow. Every time I think about it, that’s all I can say.
In many ways, my practice today is more like it was in the beginning than ever before. I’m back down to just one staffer, two exam rooms, same number of phone lines, even some of the same patients.
In many other ways, my life has morphed into one that, twenty-five years ago, I could barely have fathomed in my wildest of dreams. My kids are all grown, all employed, all homeowners…and all pet owners; but all still healthy, happy, beautiful, competent, and utterly wonderful. I’m still married, albeit to a very different spouse. I’m thirty pounds thinner (yeah, I lost fifty, but twenty have found their way back), I’m growing my hair out, and I have over a dozen pairs of glasses to switch up my look every day. The most stunning change (for me) has been the new house.
Yet through all the personal changes, metamorphoses, and evolutions there has always been the practice. Office hours have shifted over the years to accommodate school schedules, but now that the kids are gone, the office schedule has settled in some. Yet the practice remains my joy, my job; my life’s work. Ongoing and ever changing, yet steady as the tides. August is busy with physicals; October we’re crushed with flu shots; flu season usually peaks around February; allergies blossom in the spring with the flowers. The cycle goes on.
There are changes there too, of course. Two moves and two remodelings; the shift to electronics and away from paper. Still, the things that remain continue to outweigh the changes.
The blog is still here as well Not nearly as active as in the past, but what is? Looking back, there’s lots of good stuff there. Not the least of which is this, written five years ago on the occasion of my practice’s twentieth anniversary:
But now as then, what I look forward to most is the people. They’re usually called patients, but what they really are is people who have done me the tremendous honor of allowing me into their lives at their most vulnerable; the best and worst moments of their lives; the beginnings, the endings, and everything in between. When I think of twenty years in practice, I don’t think about the three locations, the comings and goings of assorted staffers, or even the hospital staff and committee meetings. I remember the patients; my patients; my friends. Now as then, they are the reason I do what I do, and why I love what I do. Now as then, I thank you all.
Twenty-five more? Who knows?
I’d sure like to try.