MCMSPhysicianSpring2017 - 17

mon t m e d s o c .c om

Horsham Family Physicians Retire
after 50+ Years of Practicing Together
Husband and Wife Physicians Take Down Shingle
on 85th Birthday
Special to MCMS Physician
	 The year was 1960. John F. Kennedy was
elected president, Ben Hur was one of the top
movies of the day, and physicians Richard
and Phyllis Buckwalter opened their medical
office in Horsham. The Buckwalters have
been practicing family medicine in their home
office on Inverness Drive ever since, and
now, after treating local residents for nearly
six decades, the Temple University Medical
School graduates have decided to retire.
	 "It is, with very mixed emotions, that we
are retiring from family medicine after 60 very
fulfilling years, 56 of them from our home
office in Horsham," Richard said.
	 Their official retirement date was Jan. 16,
the day Richard celebrated his 85th birthday.
Phyllis reached the 85-year milestone a year
ago, so the couple felt Richard's 85th would be
an appropriate time to take down their shared
shingle.
	 "Many of our patients have been with us for years, even
decades, and we frequently have described them as the
greatest patients any physician could ever have," Phyllis
explained. "Our visits together have not been merely clinical
medical encounters, but have been personal interactions
with friends, many of whom express concern for our wellbeing even before we can ask, 'What do you have to report
to me?'"
	 Because of the longevity of their practice, the doctors
have served the medical needs of two and three generations
of some local families.
	 "Very few physicians have had so much occupational
satisfaction and personal enjoyment for so many years, and
for this I am grateful," Richard noted in an announcement
about his retirement decision to their patients. "As one of
our valued patients, you have helped us achieve our life-long
dream of service as your trusted family physician."
	 Richard, a "city boy" from Philadelphia who graduated
from Ursinus College, and Phyllis, a professed "country girl"
from Newtown who graduated from Penn State University,
met at Temple Medical School and married shortly after

obtaining their medical degrees in
1956. They were one of three husband/
wife couples in their graduating class,
at a time when women were in the vast
minority in the field of medicine.
After Richard served three years in
the U.S. Navy at assignments in Puerto
Rico, North Carolina and Philadelphia,
the couple set up shop in Horsham,
building their practice from scratch-
something that is much less common
today.
Over the years, the doctors have
treated thousands of people, most of whom are local
residents, but they've also seen relatives and friends of
patients from all over the country who brought them to the
office while they've been in the area.
	 While coughs, colds and sore throats are among the
most common ailments, they've treated and applied their
fair share of stitches over the years-something the local
doctor often handled before emergency rooms became
the common treating location. Who remembers doctors
making house calls? Richard and Phyllis both continued to
see patients in their homes long after most other physicians
discontinued the practice. And Phyllis even delivered one
of their neighbor's children in the earlier years of their
practice when the baby didn't want to wait to get to the
local hospital.
	 "It has been our distinct honor, privilege and pleasure to
have been the medical confidante for so many people for so
many years," Richard concluded. "Doctor Phyllis, our staff
and I will remember all of them fondly, as we transition to
a pleasant and leisurely retirement."

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