Dr Frank Madill has seen many changes in medicine since he began practicing in the mid-1960s but now the former politician is hanging up his stethoscope for the final time.
At the end of this week Dr Madill will retire from consulting at the Northern Suburbs Medical Service.
He will also begin wrapping up his work at the Newnham Community Aldersgate Village nursing home.
“I will continue doing that for a couple of months in the new year until the new doctor will then take over and that will be the end of 52 years,” Dr Madill said.
He did not practice continuously during the half-century of work, taking four years off when he was appointed as a cabinet minister, but went back to the Mowbray practice when he retired from parliament in 2000.
There have been a number of retirements during Dr Madill’s career – from being partner at the practice in 1986, from government, and after 10 years as a part-time lecturer at the University of Tasmania and Australian Maritime College.
But this one will stick, he says.
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“This has got to be the final retirement, I am 76 and I graduated in 1965 and came here in 1966 to work at the general hospital for one year, and to then go back to Melbourne, but I’m still here,” Dr Madill said.
“One of the great pleasures I have is that I have some patients that I have been looking after one way or another for 50 years.”
The decision to stay in Tasmania was one of the best he ever made, Dr Madill said.
“I built my house here in 1969 and we still live here in the Northern suburbs and we will continue to live here,” he said. “I think I have been very fortunate to have met people a lot of good people, and I have done some good, but the relationship with the patients has been the highlight.”
His other key achievement was the development of the informal relationship between the practice and the nursing home, which he visits on Mondays and Thursdays with his dog Ellie.
“I don’t know what we are going to [when he retires], we’ll have to go and visit, I am sure Ellie will miss her visits because she loves going up there,” Dr Madill said.
“It’s a regular and dependable attendance that other nursing homes often can’t rely on.”
Dr Madill’s final day at the Northern Suburbs Medical Service is Friday.