AFTER more than 45 years working in health care, Dr Alexander Thomson is saying farewell to practising in Launceston, celebrating his final day at the Esk Family Health Care Centre on July 2.
Moving to Tasmania in 1993 for a posting as Professor of General Practice at UTas, Dr Thomson said he was initially placed at the Launceston practice to help in 1998 after the death of Dr David Hutchinson, but soon found himself in a more permanent position.
"I started at this practice briefly to assist following the unexpected death of Dr David Hutchinson. Now 23 years later it is time to step aside for a new generation of general practitioners.
"Over this 23 years, it has been my privilege to share in life's joys and sorrows with a supportive group of patients," Dr Thomsons said.
"Many have reminded me, over the years, that they have been coming to this practice for well over 60 years, thus I recognise humbly that I have been part of the history of service of this practice - a service that predates me and will continue well after my leaving."
Dr Thomson said he will miss the daily contact with his patients, who he considers to be like family.
"People who become as much friends as patients and who have, at times, reached out to me when, in my own life, I've also experienced health or life crises," he said, adding the Esk Family Health Care Centre was a place where people are provided with "great care".
Opening in 1895, the medical practice provides a full range of general practice services with Dr Thomson adding the emphasis has always been on "providing the best care possible".
"It is the ongoing contact with people and their family groups that is at the heart of general practice," he said.
"Whatever the nature of the problem it is our privilege to assist our patients in their life journey from before birth until after death."
Dr Thomson said he reflects fondly on his time as a General Practitioner and was now looking forward to spending more time with his family and engaging in community service.
"If I could, I would do it all again - it's been fantastic," he said. "I sincerely thank those who have entrusted their care in my hands and wish you all well in the future."