A vanishing breed of family doctor is retiring after nearly 60 years as a practising physician in Coquitlam.
Dr. Yan So works six to seven days a week, makes house calls and looks after his own patients whether they're in hospital or in care homes.
In his younger days, the UBC Faculty of Medicine graduate even delivered babies and performed minor surgeries. Many of his patients say they think of him as family.
'Dr. So was there when my children were growing up, throughout the rough times.He's not just a doctor, but he's a family man. '' - Gail Hartigan, patient of Dr. Yan So
Gail Hartigan has been a patient and neighbour of Dr. So's for 40 years. She told the Early Edition's Elaine Chau that he's been a big part of her family's life, especially when her husband John was diagnosed with ALS.
"We'd call him, and he would come to the house if we needed him," said Hartigan. "John had a couple falls, and needed extra support. Dr. So gave me the support to keep him at home. He was there when my children were growing up, throughout the rough times.He's not just a doctor, but he's a family man."
Dr. So says it's all part of the job:
"We were taught about the importance of seeing your patient, finding out their problems, not only physically but emotionally. That's what's satisfying — to follow what we were taught. These patients I have, I not only treat them, I treat their families. It’s different. What’s most rewarding? You know your patient, and they know you."
As he reflects about retirement in June, the Coquitlam doctor is worried that his brand of family medicine is considered too old-fashioned by most. But for now, he's focusing on taking care of his patients, and making sure they have a new GP.