Forty years may seem like a long time for some but for Dr. Lawrence Olfert it was only a blink of an eye.
He recently was awarded a service award from Alberta Health Services (AHS) for forty years of hard work.
"It is actually really thrilling to, sort of, seeing all the years of service that have gone by so quickly. To just be recognized by the provincial government and also by the Cheif Medical Officer is amazing. There are only 224 of us that have served 40 years or more. It is not a common thing," explained Dr. Olfert.
Dr. Olfert started his medical career out in Saskatchewan, but was looking for a bigger centre and found Drumheller. He must have liked the community because he chose to stay for the rest of his career.
"To think back then, there were no CT scans, no ultrasounds, no MRI's, no cardiac and catheterizations and treatments. All that technology, how much more we can do now for people now and preserve their lives and their activities from the interventions we can do. It is just amazing. Obstetrics especially, no ultrasounds, you had to guess if you were having twins. No pictures of the twins," he enthused.
Olfert also mentioned that it was a great honour to work alongside doctors like Dr. Jordan, Dr Chung and Dr. Miller and it goes to show the quality of medical staff in the valley.
"I have so many stories from ambulance rides to Calgary, to some of the trauma I had to go through, the joy of delivering about 1,200 babies. Doing the second generation deliveries, the first time I delivered a baby from a mother that I had delivered was just unreal. And that is just some of the highlights."
He ranked his top three moments as helping develop an outreach program for disabled kids with special needs, working with Hughes Aerospace Industry to develop telemedicine, and being a part of building the Drumheller Health Center.