Docs sign off
Two well-respected and much loved doctors will be hanging up their stethoscopes and retiring from Benalla’s Church St Surgery.
Dr Paul Kelly and Dr Richard de Crespigny will be leaving the surgery after 41 and 30 years respectively.
Whilst both have big plans for retirement there’s still a good chance you might bump into them around town.
‘‘I have five grandchildren to keep me busy, and we babysit them during the school holidays,’’ Dr Kelly said.
‘‘We’ve got a four-wheel drive and a caravan so we’ll travel around Australia for a few months of the year. Maybe we’ll travel overseas a few months a year, and I’ll be riding my bike and poking around Benalla the rest of the time.
‘‘To be honest I’ve been struggling for the last couple of years to find time to come to work.’’
Dr de Crespigny won’t necessarily have as much free time as Dr Kelly; he plans to run the family farm full time.
‘‘I’m sad about leaving, but it’s good to be leaving a job that you’re sad to be leaving rather than be happy to be going.
‘‘I’ve had a huge amount of joy and satisfaction from this job but I’ve got another job to go to. I’ve got a farm so that will keep me busy.’’
The Church St Surgery has seen many changes in the past four decades. One that both doctors said has been great to see is the amount of women who now work in the industry.
‘‘In this building we have nearly as many female doctors as males. It was very much a male dominated profession when I started,’’ Dr Kelly said. ‘‘So I think that’s great. ‘‘And the nurses make a big difference they’ve become an integral part of our practice. You couldn’t practice medicine without nurses now.’’
Whilst Drs Kelly and de Crespigny are now moving onto the next stage in their lives they are leaving the surgery in good hands. On top of the team of qualified doctors and nurses already employed at the surgery they have recently welcomed a new intern, Dr Ryan Waddell.
‘‘I grew up in Benalla,’’ Dr Waddell said.
‘‘We moved over about 20 years ago from Numurkah, so most of my life we’ve been in Benalla. ‘‘I went away to study and now I’m back. ‘‘I’ve been working at this clinic for about 12 weeks or so now and I’m finding the people here really nice. It’s really good.
‘‘I think I’m really fortunate to have had the experience to work here, it’s a wonderful town to live and work in.
‘‘I’m very interested in becoming a GP in this area and Church St Clinic is really nice, it’s an amazing clinic, so maybe I’ll be sat here talking to the paper about my retirement in 40 years.’’
Saying farewell: Dr Ryan Waddell, Dr Richard de Crespigny and Dr Paul Kelly.