After 50 years working as a doctor, more than three decades of those in the Macedon Ranges, Dr Paul Carter is calling it a day.
Born in the UK, Dr Carter trained at Guy’s Hospital in London, before continuing his postgraduate training at the Westminster Hospital.
In 1976, he was offered a position as a pathology senior lecturer at Melbourne University.
“I spent quite a few years in Melbourne but I decided I hadn’t come to Australia to live in suburbia,” he said.
“I decided that I wanted to go live in the country. I moved up here and bought a property near Monegeetta and I have lived there since.”
In 1986, Dr Carter joined a medical practice in Romsey where he discovered his passion for rural practice.
“It was the involvement with the people,” he said. “I sort of expected the clinical stuff to be more exciting, but I hadn’t expected the involvement with the community. It felt like I had come home.”
In 2009, Dr Carter established the Ochre Lancefield Country Practice with Dr Marina Kefford.
“I’m very fond of the people of Lancefield and they had a pretty ordinary run in terms of medical centres,” he said.
“They never had a permanent medical centre and they never had a pharmacy. Marina Kefford and I set this up as a permanent thing. As a result of that, we attracted a chemist. The community gave so much to me over the years and I wanted to help create a permanent service for them.”
Dr Carter said he looked forward to meeting different patients each day but one young girl provided the highlight of his career.
He said he looked after an extremely disabled girl, right from the time she was little.
“To my great surprise, she invited me to her 16th birthday party. We had become very close over the years. About three months after that, I decided that I wanted her as the bridesmaid to our wedding.
“She died about six weeks later. Having her in my life, it exemplifies the innocence and beauty of relationships.”
In retirement, Dr Carter is looking forward to travelling to Africa, completing his third book and spending time with his 11 grandchildren.
“I feel my job is done,” he said.
“I feel really comfortable about not leaving anyone in the lurch and I feel very comfortable that I’m leaving the town with a great service.”