Ararat resident Dr Derek Pope has decided to hang up the stethoscope after over 36 of practicing at Ararat Medical Centre.
Dr Pope first moved to the area in 1985 for a three month long stint at the practice, before being offered a full-time position.
Dr Pope has been on the board of management of the Ararat Retirement Village for over 20 years, where he is currently president. He received life governorship for the East Grampians Health Service in 2007 and in 2014 he was named Ararat Golden Gateway Festival King.
Dr Pope said "the time has come" on his professional career.
"My four or five year stint in the country turned into a 36-year stint," he said.
"It is a very nice place to practice, It has been a very enjoyable 36 years.
"It is a good lifestyle and a good place to bring up kids.
"I have always had the intention to retire around the age of 65."
Dr Pope said he will find it difficult disconnecting from his job.
"Always in the back of your mind you're worrying how your patients will be while you are away" he said.
"It will probably take a fair bit of time to get used to the idea of not having to worry
"It will be different.
Dr Pope said he will miss the people he has formed a connection with, over the past 36 years.
"I have met a lot of people, patients have become friends, it has been a great journey," he said.
"When you have been treating patients for 35 years, some of your patients pass, which is always hard but that's the way life goes.
"The last few weeks I have spent calling up my long-term patients and letting them know I am retiring.
"The process has been quite emotional."
Dr Pope would meet his future wife, Jan Pope, at the Ararat Musical Comedy Society, where he joined quickly after moving to town.
"I got involved pretty quickly in the Ararat Musical Comedy Society," he said.
"I played piano for them for a couple of seasons and in the process I met a cute little chorus girl.
"We got married five years later."
Dr Pope said he and wife Jan hope to return to the stage next year.
"It's been a very enjoyable pastime, you get to meet a lot of people," he said.
"We have been in well over 20 performances together and look forward to featuring in many more shows together."
Dr Pope said he plans on making the most of retirement.
"I am now going to try to relax a little bit," he said.
"I am going to take things easy for a while and spend quality time with my family and friends.
Mrs Pope said she is looking forward to having her husband home.
"We are going to go travelling, go fishing and enjoy life," she said.
"It is going to change because all we have ever known is Derek (Pope) working at the (Ararat) medical centre.
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