It's happened twice this week. Names, long forgotten, resurfaced. I have noticed that several of my patients need their defibrillator or pacemaker battery replaced - ones I placed seven years ago shortly after I started at my present position.
Being in the Navy and then private practice for several years, my wife and I rarely lived in one place for very long. We've moved eleven times since our marriage. Similarly, the field of electrophysiology is so procedural that patients are usually "returned" to the referring physician for their chronic management, so interactions with your patients can be hard to maintain.
In each case, the patients were relieved as they walked in to my office and saw a familiar face. It seemed almost like yesterday, as we each tacitly noted that the color of our hair was a little gray-er and their stance a bit less certain. Much had happened since I last saw them: many had experienced loss and were dealing with new challenges. Each had taken time with family and friends and seemed all the better for doing it. It was nice to know they've done so well for so long.
I reflected on this while I walked the dog last evening for her nightly constitutional and realized that I really enjoy being in one place for a while.