Thank You Larry

One of the difficult aspects at this point in my career is saying goodbye as physicians retire.  Larry Saripkin, who is an amazing person, is retiring (last day yesterday). 

I first met Larry when I was working at Egleston Hospital. Larry, along with Jeff Lewis, provided coverage for me when I had become the single physician in my group.  This allowed me to be off when our youngest son was born.  Then, later, Larry helped convince me to join the merging GI groups at Scottish Rite (23 years ago).  This has been one of my best decisions.  Of course, I feel that our group delivers very good care for our patients.  Yet, the main reason why it has been a good choice is working alongside some terrific individuals. 

Larry has a keen intellect and a wonderful ability to connect with everyone, even families with very stressful medical conditions. He is very generous with his time.  I remember one night when he was on-call, the parents of one of my patients called. They were upset because they could not get the feeding pump to work.  They told me that Larry insisted on driving out to their house (around 11 pm).  He and his wife showed the family how to work the pump.

For about 15 years, he has spent a week every summer at Camp Oasis as the medical director.  At heart, Larry is still a kid.  For years, he would take some of the younger staff (or kids of other physicians) with him when he went to Bonaroo.

He has served as a mentor to many of us in our group and to about a dozen scribes who have moved on to become physician assistants or to medical school/physicians.

Countless families have told me how important Larry has been to them. He has attended many of his patients’ celebrations (eg. weddings).

It will be bittersweet going forward when I walk by Larry’s office & missing out on some great story or some new music.

In this picture with Melissa and Cassie (from 2011), Larry is dressed up
as a cheeseburger (with a fake mustache) at Camp Oasis.

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