William L. Rich, III, M.D. Announces Retirement
This December is a landmark month for me. It marks my 40th year in practice at Northern Virginia Ophthalmology Associates, and the last month of service as President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. I will be retiring in December 2016.
When Dr. Thomas Frey and I began this practice in 1976, if someone had told me that I would enjoy going to work every day for forty years I would have simply responded “no way”. Unbeknownst to me at that time, valid surveys have been done over the years to evaluate professional satisfaction. The two top-rated medical specialties are pediatrics and ophthalmology. They seem very dissimilar but what they have in common is the reward of establishing long-term relationships with patients and families.
Every day I see a patient whom I have taken care of for close to forty years and three generations. These interactions have been incredibly rewarding to me. I will miss those daily interactions and the shared trust that has developed over all these years.
A major concern for a retiring physician is who will take care of their patients? That is not a problem for me. I have such confidence in my partners at Northern Virginia Ophthalmology Associates that I have never called back to the office while on vacation to check on the condition of a patient because I knew they were getting care from my partners that was equal to or greater than any I could have rendered. This gives me great confidence as I approach retirement.
Our group has slowly grown over the last forty years from a two-person practice to twelve ophthalmologists, two optometrists, several opticians, and trained technicians. Our specialties include comprehensive ophthalmology, glaucoma, uveitis, cataract surgery, pediatric ophthalmology, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, and contact lenses. All are well-trained, compassionate professionals who are more than happy to accept responsibility for your care going forward.
I wish I could personally express my gratitude to each of you for trusting me with the provision of your care over these past decades. It has been a wonderful run!
With best personal regards,