Nelson County Doc Looks Back on 50 Years

By: Matt Holmes Email
By: Matt Holmes Email

Thursday October 23, 2008

Just out of medical school at UVa, Dr. Robert "Bob" Raynor set up his medical practice in Nelson County back in 1958. Now 50 years later he's calling it quits, but not without making quite an impression.

"When I first came to Nelson County there were only two other doctors here and so three of us took care of the county," Dr. Raynor recalls.

"He truly loves the people of Nelson County and he has shown that every day of his life," says Betty Sheffield, who has spent the past 27 years working as Dr. Raynor's office manager.

The doctor says over 50 years things start to come full circle.

"Before I stopped doing OB I was beginning to deliver babies from girls that I had delivered. So they had grown up and were having babies of their own."

With the advent of technology, he says things have changed.

"I don't like computers and Martha Jefferson went to electronic medical records and I had to use a laptop for the last few months of my career and I didn't like that at all."

Those who worked with him say one thing that never changed was his bedside manner.

"He always would spend time with his patients," Sheffield says. "They may be talking more about a football game or some event in the county, but after the reason for being here he would always like to throw in some personal conversation with them."

And after all these years of practicing medicine, Dr. Bob's best parting advice: "Take two aspirin and call me tomorrow."

At 78 years old, Dr. Bob's not one of those people who's going to let retirement slow him down. He says he'll still be making rounds four days a week at a couple local nursing homes.

Upon reflection, he says one of the biggest changes is the cost of health care. In 1958, Raynor says he didn't deal with insurance; he simply charged $3 for an office visit and $5 for a house call.

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