End of era for Hawkesbury doctor

The longest serving medical professional at Hawkesbury District Hospital retired last week leaving his mark in the hospital’s history.

Acknowledged by his colleagues as a man who has accomplished many goals, specialist anaesthetist Murray Selig joined the hospital in 1972 and later became the chairman for the Hawkesbury medical staff council.

The retired doctor said nothing had made him more happy and proud than to help, serve and be a part of the Hawkesbury community.

‘‘My last day was very upsetting, it was filled with tears, laughter and goodbyes,’’ Dr Selig said.

‘‘I will truly miss working with the outstanding staff and patients of the Hawkesbury who have been nothing but humble and generous.

‘‘The people of the Hawkesbury should be very proud of their community.’’

Dr Selig said one of his greatest achievements was being able to be part of the hospital growth and contribute to the work of the anaesthetic department. 

He recalled how the hospital had changed dramatically from a small and rural centre to a service was large and better funded.

‘‘Back in the ’70s and ’80s, the old hospital was a major trauma centre, so we used to get everything coming through the door including some really major road, river and horse incidents,’’ he said.

‘‘We only had very little staff to look after patients and just one surgeon.

‘‘Now things have expanded with the anaesthetic department expanding in staff, funding and equipment.’’

The most rewarding part of Dr Selig’s job was saving peoples lives ‘‘day in and day out’’.

He shared with the Gazette the time when he and his staff saved a nine-year-old boy who had been hit by a train in Richmond.

‘‘He was deteriorating in front of us, we worked hard to give him a second chance.’’

At Dr Selig’s farewell last Friday, general manager Peter Blanchard said the veteran of 42 years was an example to all of what it meant to be a consummate professional.

‘‘His commitment to providing quality health care within this organisation and broader health system and to his colleagues has been memorable and outstanding,’’ Mr Blanchard said.

‘‘Dr Selig’s career has been an extraordinary one and his retirement marks the end of an era. On behalf of everyone at the Hawkesbury hospital I offer a heartfelt thank-you and all the best for the future,” Mr Blanchard said.

Dr Selig will continue his work as a specialist anaesthetist at other Sydney hospitals.

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