Leven Health Centre waved goodbye to one of its most loved GPs last week, as Dr June Clark retired after more than 30 years at the facility.
In September 1983, she went into practice with Dr Ronald Page, and she has been serving the people of Levenmouth ever since. They were joined by Dr Mark McDonald around 15 years ago.
“I’ve had a great time here and the staff are all so, so hardworking.Dr June Clark
But the time has now come to hang up her stethoscope as she embarks on a brand new chapter.
Born and raised in West Lothian, Dr Clark moved to Fife after marrying her husband David in 1978 while still completing her medical studies in Dundee. She worked as a trainee at Victoria Hospital, and even spent some time at Dr McLaren’s Leven Health Centre practice, before partnering with Dr Page.
For Dr Clark, helping her many, many patients is something she will remember fondly.
“I love when you are sitting with a patient and you can talk to them and refer to their gran, their mum, their sister; knowing the families.
“It’s really exciting when you can make reference to the patient and they know who you are.
“Everyday something nice happens - I’m not making it sound too idealistic! - but it has been great, with lots of lovely people. There’s been a few tears and ‘What are we going to do without you’s’, but it will be fine!”
Although Dr Clark did ‘dabble’ with psychiatry as she says, she does say that becoming a GP was what she always wanted.
“But of course doing general practice, having an interest in (psychiatry) is a good thing - I hope I’ve been a good listener over the years.”
She added: “The patients here are very dear. There’s so much sadness in this job, but a lot of laughs too.
“It is a great feeling knowing you have been able to help someone, it’s really rewarding and enjoyable.
“Patients will say to me ‘I remember when you told me this’ and it will have been years ago and I was just doing my job, but it means so much to them, so that’s lovely.”
Dr Clark will be leaving a well loved staff, and praised them all very highly.
“Of course, there isn’t as much social time in this job anymore, it’s so busy, but as well as the patients I will miss my colleagues very much.
“I’ve had a great time here and they are all so, so hardworking.”
But medicine won’t be disappearing altogether - her daughter is training as a GP.
“I’m sure she’ll still ask me about things and ask for advice,” said Dr Clark.
After finishing up officially last Friday, Dr Clark is now looking forward to having time to do all the things she’s been too busy for in the last few years.
“I used to draw and paint a lot, so I’d like to get back into that, a bit of walking, seeing friends - just waking up in the morning and having the time to go and do what you want.”
Marking her last day celebrations were all of Dr Clark’s colleagues, including practice manager Lynn Mitchell who told the Mail: “We are going to miss her so much and really think the world of her. It really is such a big change.”
Dr Clark’s partner for the last 30 years, Dr Ronald Page, had many kind words to say about his esteemed colleague. “June and I have been partners since 1983 and she is an excellent doctor with a loyal band of patients. She has been a brilliant partner and a good friend.”
Replacing Dr Clark will be Dr Ruth Stevenson, who will be joining the practice from Dundee in the next few weeks. Dr Page said, “We were very lucky to get her, as there’s such a shortage right now of GPs, and I’m sure she’ll be great.”