Rheumatologist Dr. Dave Templin retires after over 50 years of serving the Alaska Native community
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Rheumatologist Dr. Dave Templin’s spent more than half his life in health care helping people with arthritis, in particular the Alaska Native community.
Dr. Templin has been a familiar face in the rheumatology department, on the fourth floor of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium building in Anchorage, and has been practicing medicine since 1959. He moved to Alaska in 1970.
“I promised my wife at that time that we’d stay five years only,” Templin said.
That five years turned into 52, and all have been with the Alaska Native Medical Center.
“I used to go to Barrow, Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue, Dillingham, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka and Metlakatla on a regular basis,” Templin said.
He said he’s seen a lot of changes in medicine over the years, but what’s remained the same is the passion he has for his patients.
“Most of all the people I worked with, the Alaska Native are a wonderful group of people to work with,” Templin said.
However, after more than five decades in health care, Dr. Templin is beginning a new chapter.
“I have to retire. My eyes are getting bad, reading X-rays is almost impossible and even reading electronic health records is difficult, so I have to quit,” Templin said. “I’m very sad about doing so because I’ve spent 52 years here, and sad to say medicine has been my life and I don’t know what I’m going to do when I quit.”
News of his retirement is a bittersweet feeling for everyone, including longtime friend Dr. Brian McMahon, who works as the medical and research director or the liver disease program at ANTHC.
“I can’t believe he’s actually going to retire,” McMahon said. “I wish that he will be able to enjoy himself and spend time with his family.”
Those who work with Dr. Templin said the office won’t be the same without him. They hope he’ll enjoy retirement just as much as he does helping people.
“I just hope once he retires, he finds his way to relax and enjoy retirement,” Lori Brink said.
“Smartest man, sweet, kind, compassionate, just easy to work with, one of the best, best doctors,” Karin Dowden said.
“I know it kind of sounds cliche, but they say that you know if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life,” Skylar Fite said. “I truly believe that Dr. Templin has never worked a day in his life. He loves what he does.”
Dr. Templin’s last day is Thursday, Dec. 22.
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