Oskaloosa, Iowa – after a rewarding medical practice in Oskaloosa over the past 31 years, Dr. Randall Hart has announced he is planning to retire on December 31 of this year. Dr. Hart started practicing at Family Medical Center (FMC) during the summer of 1980 in the old clinic building at 1225 C Ave. East. His early years were influenced by Drs. Mike and Robert Collison and Dr. Sid Smith.
“I learned a lot about medical practice from them as well as Dr. Argo who recently retired,” said Hart. he added Dr. Mike Collison was instrumental in his decision to come to Oskaloosa. Hart and Collison had gone to medical school together, and Dr. Mike had encouraged Dr. Hart to look at FMC as a possible practice site.
Hart said though the size of the medical group has not changed appreciably, he believes the group is busier now in terms of total patient load and the number of patients seen per day.
“In 1980 I joined 6 doctors in practice. Now we have 8 doctors, a physician assistant, and a nurse practitioner,” said Hart. “Many of the small towns around had a solo primary care doctor. There are none now. There are not as many rural primary care physicians as there used to be. that, and a large influx of patients from Ottumwa, adds to the larger patient loads and busier days for area physicians.”
Dr. Hart said medical practice has changed dramatically since he received his D.O. degree in 1973. “Now we have faxes, computers, radiology equipment (MRIs, CAT scans, etc.,) and other technology that speeds up how information is obtained, communicated and handled. with our (FMC’s) new electronic medical records system in the clinic and another in the hospital, information is immediately accessible.
“Documentation has gone from handwritten very short clinic notes in a paper format to voluminous records generated at each patient visit,” he continued. he also said the field of medicine has expanded so greatly that keeping up to date on diagnosis and treatment is a never-ending challenge.
Improvements have not been limited to the medical field as Dr. Hart has also seen many improvements in Oskaloosa since his arrival. “The George Daily funds have benefited education and the arts. we have a new, better elementary school system. The new Middle School, Daily Auditorium, and high school addition have been the pride of the community. Musco Mobile Lighting has been a stimulus to bettering our city and county. William Penn University has advanced educationally, financially, and in many other positive ways. Mahaska Health Partnership is slowly expanding. The Serenity House has greatly expanded the capabilities of hospice care in the community.”
Dr. Hart grew up on a farm in Michigan and received his D.O. from Des Moines University (then College of Osteopathic medicine and Surgery) in 1970. he did an osteopathic rotating internship and a year of pediatric residency in the Detroit area before entering Public Health Service for two years. he completed a Family Medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison right before moving to Oskaloosa with his wife, Sally, and their three children (Nathan, Cindy and Val).
After retirement, Dr. Hart and his wife hope to move to Seattle where they own a home near their daughter, Cindy, her husband, and two children. they also hope to continue traveling and busying themselves with their hobbies and interests – his, growing bonsai trees, woodworking and gardening; hers, teaching piano and playing the organ.
“I would like my patients to know how much I appreciate their loyalty over the many years I have known a lot of them,” he said. “It will be hard to give up the special relationships we have enjoyed in the clinic setting. FMC has been very good to me over the years. not seeing the staff and doctors at FMC will be hard. I cannot imagine a better group of people to have shared my life with.”