Long-time Tahoe doctor retires
April 14, 2015
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — For many, Lake Tahoe's natural environment and access to outdoor adventure is what attracts them in the first place. In 1979, those same qualities prompted Dr. Gregory Bergner, a physician, community member and avid athlete, to relocate to Tahoe.
On Tuesday, after more than 30 years as a physician in Tahoe and more than 10 years for Barton Health, Bergner saw patients for the last time at Barton Urgent Care. He officially retired from the medical community at Lake Tahoe.
Bergner's time in Tahoe began when, just out of residency training, he moved from Los Angeles so he could be somewhere he could experience four seasons and practice his love of medicine.
Shortly after arriving, Bergner saw the need for family practice physicians within the South Lake Tahoe community. The following year, he partnered with Dr. Paul Rork and Dr. Brooks Martin to create Tahoe Family Physicians (TFP), a thriving family practice from its inception.
"When I entered medicine as a primary care physician in the late 70s, the breadth of services we needed to provide was much broader," Bergner said. "We did not have hospitalists back then, so we took care of our hospitalized patients and we delivered babies; over 3,000 over the course of our collective careers. We were in the office. We were in the Hospital. And we were up at night delivering babies. It was a hard but fulfilling life."
Throughout the years the trio has been involved in the community, Bergner said.
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"We coached athletic teams, we helped in schools, we served on various Boards and, with time, we became woven into the fabric of Tahoe. Our wives especially, but our children too, were an essential part of this effort," he said.
The trio practiced together until 2004, when Bergner and Rork retired from practicing family medicine at TFP and transitioned into urgent care, seeing patients at Barton Urgent Care in Stateline. Martin continues to practice family medicine at Barton Family Medicine.
"Brooks Martin, M.D. and Paul Rork, M.D. have been a pleasure to work with over the years," Bergner said. "I hope Physicians here will invest time to forge lasting professional relationships and to be a part of our community."
Barton Urgent Care Practice Manager Karen Conant remembers when Dr. Bergner retired from TFP in 2004 and transitioned to urgent care.
"We made him a baby book of all the photos given to him of the babies and families he delivered over the years. When he looked through the book he remembered every single child's name and their parent's names. That sums up the incredible physician he is," she said.
Now, during the last days of his days as a physician in Tahoe, Bergner said he hopes that, as a community "we treasure our environment, take care of what we have and take advantage of it in a healthy way. Getting outside and enjoying our environment is not only physically healthy, but it supports our mental health."
Dr. Bergner and his wife Jean are looking forward to remaining active in the community and will continue to call Lake Tahoe their home.
Still, while Bergner may have hung up his white coat at Barton Urgent Care, he and his wife will be traveling to New Zealand for one year where he will work in urgent care medicine to experience a different healthcare model while they travel throughout the country exploring its outdoor recreation and beauty.
"This experience will allow me to obtain new ideas on healthcare delivery in an outdoor-oriented country where Jean and I can do all of the things we love to do," Dr. Bergner said.
Conant said Bergner is going to be missed a lot, but that the staff is excited for him and wish him well in his adventures.
"He is a beloved community member, a trusted physician and one the most humble people I know," she said.