WAYNESBORO, Pa. – When Dr. Joe Ferguson retires at the end of this month, he wants to spend time in his workshop and return to doing short-term medical missions work. He also plans to go back to college.
“There are programs for retirees where you can audit classes,” he said. “It doesn’t go on a transcript, but at my age, who needs a transcript?”
After practicing family medicine for 38 years, Dr. Ferguson’s final day with Summit Primary Care will be June 30. He admits he never thought he’d work in the field.
“My dad was a pediatrician so, I admired him a lot, but didn’t see him very much. I didn’t want to get into medicine because it (medicine) kept me from him.”
He said his interest in the field changed as a preteen when he accompanied his father on house calls and saw him caring for patients.
“I was really good in the sciences and that played into it, too,” he added.
After medical school and various clinical rotations, Dr. Ferguson chose to focus on family medicine because he couldn’t choose which medical specialty he wanted to give up.
“That’s probably not the best way to make a decision, but it worked out.”
Dr. Ferguson said the thing he’s most enjoyed during his career is building relationships with his patients.
“I’ve been enormously blessed to have the privilege of being a physician,” he said. “So, these last few months have been particularly hard because I’m saying ‘goodbye’ to so many people.”
Another highlight has been working alongside his wife of 35 years, Jan, who stepped away from her career as a certified nurse midwife to be his medical scribe the last seven years.
“She has been a tremendous gift,” he said, adding that her work as his scribe allowed him to focus on his patients instead of the notes he needed to take. “We’ve actually, as a couple, grown much closer as a result of that.”
Dr. Muhammad M. Jawaid, who joined the first-floor Summit Primary Care practice at Waynesboro Medical Office Building about a year ago, is accepting patients as Dr. Ferguson’s retirement draws near. For more information about primary care at Summit Health, click here.
Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community.
As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, urgent care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.