In a few weeks from now – Friday, August 24, Colin Horricks will walk out of his small office for the last time.
And it will be the end of an era – given that Horricks has treated thousands and thousands of patients – some spanning five generations.
And it will the end of an era as fewer and fewer family physicians still exist and practice.
Today the medical landscape is dotted with walk-in-clinics and specialists looking after the country’s medical needs.
Horricks began practising medicine 40 years ago.
He was graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in Regina in 1974.
He also did some post-graduate work at the university.
He moved to Vancouver after his wife, as he put it – was sick of the cold Regina weather.
For a while he worked in Cloverdale as a general practitioner.
One of the more interesting jobs he had been working at the Sick Mariner’s Clinic in Vancouver, a place where sick seamen from the freighters were looked after.
As well he worked at Surrey Memorial hospital for a while, in Kitsilano and taught at UBC for a while.
He really enjoyed his teaching stint at UBC – teaching students the art of taking down a patient’s history.
‘This is where you discover what the patient is all about.
Colin Horricks opened his current location 38 years ago.
He once said:
Patient care is a beautiful thing.
I had a dream once and I woke with the lingering statement: “it takes a lot of nice patience to have a lot of nice patients.” If I’ve learned anything in nearly forty years of practicing family medicine it’s the importance of patience. Patience in the pregnant pause and waiting for a response or with a patent in addiction it may take five years of struggle to get to the beginning of recovery.
I love the continuity of care in a general practice – seeing patients over many years in all circumstances of misery and healing is very rich, a kind of reciprocal love.
Patient care is a beautiful thing. Oh, but the paperwork is another matter!