NORRIDGEWOCK — There was no backup approach required when Ken Baker as a young boy started charting his path to becoming a health practitioner.
A native of Fort Kent, Baker’s aspirations to operate in the health care discipline had been pushed as a boy or girl by an uncle he admired who was a spouse and children medical professional. Baker would go on to generate degrees from Bowdoin School in Brunswick and the Philadelphia Faculty of Osteopathic Medication.
“Medicine is all I’ve at any time required to do due to the fact I was 5 decades outdated,” Baker reported. “There was in no way a system B. It is a big portion of my id that I am likely to miss out on.”
Following additional than four many years treating individuals, Baker is getting ready to retire from the personal follow he introduced as a 26-year-previous on Key Road in Norridgewock.
Also moving into retirement is Ginny Sirois, the place of work manager for the exercise who was with Baker when the apply opened in July 1979.
Sirois had been doing the job at a nearby medical center at the time and required extra contact and conversation with sufferers.
“I observed an advert in the newspaper and utilized, and it is been ahead and straight in advance considering that,” Sirois reported. “When I interviewed with him, I bear in mind stating, ‘I’m likely to open up the doors and I’m heading to near yours doorways.’”
Her collaboration with Baker has proven worthwhile.
“It’s been superb,” Sirois explained. “This is not a occupation. Just about every working day it is a new working experience. It is an eye-opener. I get to satisfy the public. I get to satisfy the family members, the grandparents, the mother and father, the young ones. The record goes on and on.”
Baker, 69, has cared for 1000’s of central Maine inhabitants and multiple generations of family members, together with 5 generations of just one relatives.
“We the two made the decision it is time (to retire),” he reported. “The weather is acquiring significantly less sort to solo private practitioners (since) everything is company.”
The calls for of proudly owning a personal exercise, he claimed, can be substantially far more cumbersome than at larger, corporate-owned practices.
“They never have to get worried no matter if the driveway is plowed out, if the techniques are clear of snow, if the charges are paid out,” Baker explained. “It’s all taken treatment of.”
A lot else has modified, also, he explained.
“Patients have develop into considerably extra sophisticated and I feel that performs a higher part in their health treatment,” Baker explained. “People are far more internet savvy. They are extra knowledgeable of experts in Maine who have particular skills. They’re additional most likely to look for out a referral to see a professional.”
There is no system for another medical doctor or healthcare team to get more than Baker’s follow when it closes upon his retirement in July.
Baker’s appreciation for central Maine stems from 23 summers performing at Pine Tree Camp in Rome. It was there he satisfied Mary — the female he would marry — in the early 1970s. They were married at the camp in the summer season of 1979, the exact same summer months Baker opened his exercise.
For the duration of all those summers, Baker lived at the camp and worked as the camp doctor, while creating his affected person list. He has also been a section of the health care staffs at Redington-Fairview General Clinic in Skowhegan and Waterville Osteopathic Healthcare facility, now Northern Light-weight Inland Medical center, Fantastic Will-Hinckley University and the Togus VA Healthcare Heart in Augusta.
Soon after retiring, Baker is organizing a journey this drop to Australia to go to family. He said he also hopes to invest time this summer operating on earning his personal glider’s license.
He also is searching to do volunteer work in Africa.
“This has been a privilege not every person receives,” Baker mentioned. “I’ve been a portion of (patients’) lives for many years, and have been equipped to see multiple generations of a relatives. I’m likely to overlook that. I almost certainly won’t pass up the accountability that goes together with all of this. It is time for anyone else to consider on the responsibility.”