“We have been doing this for 40 years,” Dr. Elizabeth Masten said. “A lot of our office staff started this practice with us and many of them are ready to retire. We decided that it might be a good idea to go with them.”
The couple met while they were in medical school. Dr. Elizabeth was born in Chile, but Dr. Bob grew up here in Milford, his father owning Masten Lumber company. When they completed medical school, Dr. Bob convinced his wife to locate in his hometown. Initially, his specialty was internal medicine, but once the practice opened, he discovered there was a need for dermatology. He returned to school and earned his certification in the new area of practice. Right now, the couple have no set plans once the practice closes.
“We have some projects we want to complete,” Dr. Elizabeth said. “We basically just want to move at our own pace for a while. Bob is very goal-oriented, so he won’t stay still for long. We just want our time to be our own for a bit.”
Dr. Elizabeth said that they tried to find someone to take over the practice, but they were unsuccessful in finding a dermatologist who wanted to relocate to Milford. Instead, their files will be turned over to Burke Dermatology of Dover. A letter was sent to patients in their current practice providing information on how to contact the new practice.
“Feel free to seek care elsewhere if you wish,” the letter read. “If you do not know where to begin, we suggest you contact your insurance company, local hospital referral services or the Medical Society of Delaware.” The letter also notified patients that the contents of their medical file are confidential and can only be transferred with the patient’s permission. Patients who chose not to use Burke Dermatology should contact the office by November 17 to obtain a signed authorization form of release. They can then receive a copy of their medical records for a fee. The records will remain with the Masten practice until November 20.
Dr. Elizabeth said that she and her husband will miss the patients the most. She said that they have been very blessed over the past 40 years in Milford and that it will be difficult to say goodbye to people they have worked with over the years.
“We really do love our patients,” Dr. Elizabeth said. “We think of them like family. The hardest part will be saying goodbye to them.”
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