Dr. Peter Dureska

It was the winter of 1982 when Dr. Peter Dureska and his wife boarded a plane headed to Chicago in the middle of a snowstorm. Their destination was Quincy, a place they knew little about.

At the time, Dr. Dureska was in the last year of his obstetrics/gynecology residency in Toledo, OH. He was looking for the perfect place to begin his practice when a conversation with a colleague piqued his interest.

“A recruiter had reached out to my colleague about a multispecialty clinic in Illinois. She said it’s a small community located along the river. She wasn’t really interested, but wanted to know if I was,” he said. “I talked to my wife and she said, ‘Oh, that’s great!’ She grew up in a river town in Minnesota.”

So, off they went to visit this small river town. Once they landed in Chicago, they headed to their next flight, which was a little different than their first.

“We got on this tiny six-passenger plane. It was snowing like crazy. I’m sitting on the plane holding on, white-knuckled, thinking I’m not going to survive, and the next thing you know, we’re on the ground,” he recalled.

As the snow continued, he and his wife drove through Quincy to take in the community. At the time, Quincy was home to both Physicians & Surgeons Clinic (P&S Clinic) and Quincy Clinic. Dr. Dureska was interviewing with P&S. They enjoyed their visit and when they came back to Toledo, they had a decision to make.

“We arrived back home and my wife said ‘I think we should go to Quincy.’ She said she thought it was a nice place, like the town she grew up in. And, you know, happy wife, happy life,” Dr. Dureska said with a laugh.

Quincy offered a quiet, calm atmosphere. Their Toledo apartment had been broken into and he was ready to find a safe place where they could raise their family. So, off to Quincy they went, and what he thought would be a temporary stop to get some experience for a couple years, led to a 40-year career. Retiring at the 40-year mark in his career is no accident.

“I’m an even number guy. I got this thing, you know, and people laugh at me because I always operate in room two. And, then when my patients go into recovery, people know if it’s Dr. Dureska’s patient, they need to save an even number bay — 2, 4, 6, or 8. For the occasional rare time when only an odd-numbered room is available, they’ve actually pasted a number up over it,” he said with a smile.

This past year, as his retirement approached, he’s been enjoying the last visits with his patients. Saying goodbye to the people who have made his career so special has been bittersweet.

“This year has been my big victory lap. My patients and I, we’ve been through a lot together. We’ve had emotional moments when something really tough has happened and there have been a lot of good times,” he said. “You become the physician you are because of your patients, so I thank them.”

When asked how he would describe the last 40 years, Dr. Dureska laughed and said, “exhausting,” but he wouldn’t have wanted to do anything else.

“It’s exhausting, but rewarding. I’ve always loved what I’ve been doing. I made the right decision to come to Quincy and chose the right field. You can’t do this for 40 years and not love it,” he said. “Working for the same institution for 40 years is only possible if you like the people you work with. I have been blessed to have worked with fantastic, talented colleagues, nurses, and support staff here at QMG. The same goes for all the people at Blessing Hospital especially the labor and delivery nurses, and all the people in the department of surgery. They, along with my patients have shaped me into the physician I am today.”

So, what does retirement have in store for Dr. Dureska?

“I want to take a step back, take a breath, and do some stuff that I haven’t had a chance to do. I’ve neglected some things around the house over the years,” he said “I think my wife’s trying to turn me from a gynecologist into a handyman. So as long as there’s plenty of YouTube videos telling me how to do it, I should be ok.”

Thank you, Dr. Dureska, for 40 years of extraordinary care!