letter to the editor

Upset at Dr. Oliphant’s departure

Posted:  Monday, December 10, 2018 - 5:00pm
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Dear Editor:

The recent announcement of the departure of Dr. Oliphant from the Boothbay Region Health Center was deeply disturbing on so many levels. The forming of the Health Center was in good part due to them buying Dr. Oliphant’s practice from her, which included her patient base and, of course, the “good will or reputation,” which is always a part of the evaluation of a business.

I can’t speak to the politics or other reasons of why her contract was not renewed by the board, but I can speak to the deep loss of having a physician of her quality being lost to our community. She is the doctor who you would get a personal phone call at 7 or 8 o’clock at night to let you know about a test worrying you or requiring action. She made house calls. She did not look at her watch during visits, but listened and took more than the “15-minute” insurance billing time to concentrate on her patient. Both she and her husband Ken Weiss usually never left the office until very late. Those are the facts of running a family practice. Besides the fact of how lucky we were to have a talented doctor of her intellectual and educational background who was happy to work in her hometown instead of going for the more lucrative and certainly less headaches options, Dr Oliphant exemplified the definition of a physician going back thousands of years, which in part reads one who is not only highly trained in the physical but also spiritual welfare of their patients. In short, she is a healer. She came back to the Health Center after battling her own cancer, again putting in longer hours than she probably should have. She loved what she did and I think felt a responsibility to the more than dozens and dozens of patients like myself.

The timing of Dr Oliphant’s leaving seems to me particularly callus by the board. Dr. Oliphant’s “departure” from the Health Center is a huge loss to our community. And a lot of us are really disturbed at how this could have been thought a good or positive move.

Kathleen Billis

Boothbay Harbor