One of the most experienced sets of hands at Goulburn Valley Health signed off on Monday after a long, distinguished and high-profile medical career.
Surgeon Tony Heinz celebrated his final day on the job while looking forward to a quieter and less stressful life.
After 32 years as a surgeon at the hospital, Mr Heinz knew it was time to go.
‘‘I still had some petrol in the tank so I wanted to go out when the time was right,’’ he said.
‘‘It will be strange not having to worry about people and patients.’’
Mr Heinz’s surgical career started at GV Health in 1985 after first coming to the hospital in 1979 as a registrar.
He came into the high-pressure career almost by accident.
In school he knew he wanted to follow a career in the sciences, but did not know which field.
‘‘I got into medicine and thought, ‘okay, I’ll go with that’,’’ he said.
After graduating, he tried a few different specialties before he decided on the intense field of surgery.
‘‘I thought it suits me best,’’ he said.
As well as a steady set of hands, he said it was important for surgeons to remain calm and collected in high-stress situations.
‘‘If you stay calm, then your team stays calm,’’ he said.
‘‘If you don’t stay calm, then all is lost.’’
During his time at GV Health, he has been on the board of management for five years and was board chairman for two.
As well as the hundreds of patients he has seen, he has also taken a keen interest in the younger generation of surgeons at the hospital.
‘‘The surgical care here is excellent,’’ he said.
‘‘We have a wonderful group of surgeons.’’