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GUEST COMMENTARY: Sharing memories of Dr. George Hart

May 22, 2014
By CHANDLER RALPH , Lake Placid News

We lost a beloved member of our medical community last week with the passing of Dr. George Hart. Many patients and physicians remember Dr. Hart as the quintessential community physician who treated everyone like a member of his family.

In the words of Dr. Edward Hixson: "I have worked with George since 1974. George was devoted to the community of Lake Placid. He used to have an office in the old Lake Placid Club as he cared for many Club guests.

"A practical man, he would see many patients with dozens of medications from numerous 'big city' MDs for a myriad of complaints. He would tell them to stop them all! He would see them again at the end of the summer and they would report 'I never felt better in my life!' People looked forward to returning the following year to get rid of medications they didn't need.

"I shall always cherish having the opportunity to know, learn from, and work with him."

Cora Clark, RN recalls: "Dr. Hart was a wonderful physician. I did have the opportunity to work with him in the Lake Placid ER when I first began working at Placid Memorial Hospital in 1974. My mom worked with him for years prior to that. I remember her telling of times before MDs/ PAs were in the hospital 24/7, and Lake Placid had a VERY busy OB department. I asked if she delivered any babies herself and I believe that she said 'No, because when I called Dr. Hart and told him to come, he came.' (That's pretty close to a quote). Dr. Hart 'delivered Lake Placid.' Dr. Hart delivered the babies and Dr. Herbert Bergamini took out tonsils.

"I worked in the LP ER with him - and after we would finish suturing, he would ask what we had to eat. One night he said (in his Dr. Hart voice), 'come on down to the kitchen and fix me a hamburger.' (In the days when nurses gave up their chair for the doctor and fixed them something to eat). He often liked to visit with the nurses and nurses' aides."

Tom McBride, RPA-C recalls: "George would always fondly recall the physicians with whom he worked. Especially Donald Richter, Carl Merkel, Fritz Decker, David Merkel, and even Dr. Bergamini's father. However, in telling him that I actually assisted surgeries with Dr. David Merkel, he was amazed by this. David Merkel, was a common person of interest to us. We learned of his passing, we were both quite surprised and sad.

"He reminded me that he moved to Lake Placid when the sidewalks were still made of wood. He represents an age of physicians, who helped each other out. They assisted each other in surgery, deliveries, call, etc. as they were literally the biggest group of multi-taskers you could ever imagine. "He spent time in primary care mainly, but describes his surgical experience and deliveries with great fondness. He delivered my second oldest patient, another homebound resident of Lake Placid."

These are just some of the voices among the many lives touched by Dr. Hart. He will be greatly missed by all of us.



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