Popular local doctor calls it a day

Dr Ian Tait has retired after more than six decades in medicine. Photo: Megan Dunn.
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After an incredible career, Kingswood doctor Ian Tait has hung up his stethoscope for good.

The GP at Derby Street Family Medical Centre has retired after 63 years in medicine.

Growing up in north Queensland, Dr Tait said a humorous reason sparked a passion for his profession.

“My mother had pleurisy when I was a child and when the doctor came in a big beautiful black car, I said I think I will be a doctor,” he said.

“I trained in Brisbane, did my residency in Townsville, I did traffic injury research for the National Health Medical Research Council and surgery and orthopaedics before I decided to go into general practice.”

Practicing in Penrith for over five decades, the 88-year-old said his connection with patients is the main factor behind the longevity of his career.

“I was taught by the best tutor who told me that the patient will help give you the diagnosis, you just need to listen to what they are saying,” he said.

“A doctor from the UK gave a talk on how to see 180 patients before lunch, and there was no way I could do that… I have delivered babies and watched families grow up which is what it is all about.”

Despite having its challenges, Dr Tait said he has enjoyed watching medicine evolve for the community.

“You deal with difficult things every day but when I was young I might be confronted with a challenge much more than when I was in my fifties and had been in the game for a longer time,” he said.

“We used to do a lot of maternity, or even give anaesthetic but it has been great for the hospital to develop and get strong staff, specialists and an amazing emergency department, which has made a big difference.”

A little hard of hearing these days, Dr Tait said he is ready to relax into retirement.

“I will miss my patients and the marvellous staff I work with, but I am looking forward to lots of sleep-ins,” he said.

“I will enjoy spending more time with my wife Jan and I have a list of things to do that has been piling up that I will now have time to do.”

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