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Dr. Chapman to retire after 57 years in medical field

March 26, 2002|BY SARAH MULLIN

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - After 57 years in the medical profession, Dr. George Chapman will retire and plans to spend his days traveling, watching television and enjoying his four grandchildren, he said.

First, he said, "(I plan) to go to the Eastern Shore and fill up on crab meat."

Chapman, 79, has served in many facets of the health-care system.

He has been director of medical staff services at City Hospital since 1994. The position is a liaison between the hospital's staff and administration.

Before beginning his eight-year tenure at City Hospital, Chapman practiced internal medicine in Martinsburg from 1974 to 1993. He worked as a staff physician at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center from 1951 to 1968 and then was chief of medicine there until 1974.

After graduating from the Medical College of Virginia in 1945 and completing his internship, he worked as a staff physician at Blue Ridge Sanatorium in Charlottesville, Va., from 1947 to 1949.

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He conducted a residency in chest disease at Maybury Sanatorium in Northville, Mich., from 1949 to 1951.

After so many years in medicine, Chapman had this advice for aspiring health-care providers:

"Listen to your patients and give them time to tell their story, and do not take more patients than you can take care of. Just listen, because people want their doctor to listen to them. If you don't take time to listen, you don't belong in medicine."

Sandy Cleaver, chief operating officer at City Hospital, said Chapman followed his own advice.

"There is no question in my mind that he always had the best interest of the patients at heart," she said.

Cleaver has known Chapman since 1974 in her capacity as a nurse at the former King's Daughters hospital in Martinsburg and now through her administration job at City Hospital.

Cleaver said Chapman "has always had a great deal of respect for nurses. He understood that nurses play a critical role in patient care."

She said the fact that Chapman's wife, Gladys Fulk Chapman, was a nurse probably had something to do with that respect.

Chapman said he has enjoyed practicing medicine.

"It's like a detective story or when you read a mystery novel to try and identify the villain," he said.

"In this instance you are trying to identify the villain causing the sickness, and that's kind of fun. In the instances where you succeed, that's satisfying," he said.

"He has worked long and hard toward the improvement of health care in the community," Cleaver said. "I hope he enjoys his time in retirement."

A retirement reception for Chapman will be held Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. in City Hospital meeting rooms 1 and 2.

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