This year marks 45 years of practicing medicine for Dr. Gary Carpenter. Of those years, 24 were spent here at Quincy Medical Group as part of the Allergy team.
“I grew up in Glendale and Kirkwood, Missouri, so the Midwest feels like home to me. I joined Quincy Medical Group because I was used to practicing in a multispecialty collaborative setting,” he said.
When he joined QMG, he had just retired from the US Army Medical Corps after 21 years, where he rose to the rank of Colonel and was the Chief of Allergy and Immunology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
“Vaccine research was the big focus at Walter Reed, and I helped train Colonel Debbie Birx, who was instrumental in our effort to get Covid under control. Many of the military who I worked with at Walter Reed went on to public service, including Dr. Robert Redfield, who became the director of the CDC,” Dr. Carpenter shared. “One of my last trainees at Walter Reed is Dr. Michael Nelson who retired from the Army and is now an allergist at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, VA. It is satisfying to see people you trained making an impact in medicine.”
Coming to Quincy was a welcome change for Dr. Carpenter, far from the politics of the Washington, DC area, he said. Now he’s ready for the next change — retirement.
“When to retire is something I have discussed with many physicians, but mainly with other allergists. The man who trained me, Dr. Hal Nelson, is now in his 90s and is still practicing. Another physician I look up to, Dr. Donald Stevenson at Scripps Clinic, was very angry when Scripps decided on a policy of mandatory retirement at age 75. Dr. Stevenson wanted to keep practicing past the age of 75. I just turned 74, and decided that it is better to retire before someone tells you that you need to retire.”
Dr. Carpenter said he’s at the age where he wants to travel more and visit his three children and four grandchildren. He decided to retire to Tucson, Arizona, where his middle daughter and two granddaughters live. He is planning trips to see his other daughters and family members too.
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