WICHITA — As longtime physician Dean Youngberg moves toward retirement, it was important to him to find someone to take over his practice and run it like he would.
As newer physician Peg Bicker shared space with another doctor, she says she discovered that “there just wasn’t space to grow a second practice.”
Now, she’s buying Youngberg’s practice at 1035 N. Emporia, and the two are working together until late June as he transitions to retirement.
“It was just a lot of things lined up exactly right at the right time,” Bicker says.
It’s a time of mixed emotions for Youngberg, though.
“It’s kind of like, I guess, marrying off a child,” he says. “The practice has been my baby. … These patients have been a part of my family almost.”
Youngberg says his more traditional approach to medicine seems to be Bicker’s approach as well.
“It’s getting to know the patient,” he says. “It’s understanding their whole needs.”
Youngberg says “the trend anymore” is for primary care physicians to turn over their patients to physicians based at hospitals if their patients are admitted.
“My concern is that has not been the best continuity of care.”
Youngberg thinks Bicker has the same philosophy for patients and their care.
“I’m very confident that I’m transferring them to a physician who practices very similar to what I have for the last 40 years.”
Bicker says she’ll focus her general internal medicine for adults. She says that could be anyone from a healthy 17-year-old to a 90-something-year-old with multiple medical conditions.
“I’m relatively early in my career, so even buying a practice is a big step,” Bicker says.
She says starting a practice from scratch would be an “enormous undertaking.”
Bicker says she knows what it means to take over Youngberg’s practice.
“He’s very particular about who’s going to take care of his patients,” she says. “He’s personally introducing me to all of his patients, which is just lovely.”