Long-time dermatologist plans to work as long as possible, and still have fun

May 1, 2011

Dermatologist Richard P. McClintock Jr., M.D., always wanted to be a country doctor. So he went to Harvard Medical School, completed a dermatology residency and fellowship at Stanford School of Medicine and set up practice in Ukiah, Calif., a small town of about 15,000, some 120 miles from San Francisco. That was in 1967. He's still in Ukiah, and he has no plans to retire.

Key Points

That was in 1967. He's still in Ukiah, and he has no plans to retire. At 77 years, Dr. McClintock never looks back on his decision to practice dermatology away from the big cities and academic centers. That's even though the faculty and his colleagues at Harvard frowned on his desire, he says.

He has had the same office secretary, Ruth, since 1970. Ruth is 87. Her 59-year-old daughter Joanne is office manager. And while Dr. McClintock has become computer literate, his office work is done the old-fashioned way, with postings in paper patient files. One room in his practice is devoted to housing his patients' charts. Many of those patients, he says, have grown up under his care.

Dr. McClintock has the distinction of being the oldest practicing doctor in the community, but he is no longer the only dermatologist for miles. "We have another full-time dermatologist and two part-time dermatologists in town now," he says. "I'm less busy, which is fine, but still working."