Weiser Memorial Hospital is saying goodbye to Dr. Roman Babij as he says he “sails off into the sunset”, retiring after 34 years as a general surgeon. He recently celebrated his retirement on March 15th with his surgical teams, fellow doctors, and staff.
Dr. Roman J. Babij attended medical school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and graduated with honors in 1981. He then performed 5 years of residency at a hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. After that, he accepted a position in Ontario, Oregon where he has remained until now. Dr. Babij expanded his skills as a surgeon by servicing multiple hospitals which included St. Alphonsus, St. Luke’s, and Weiser Memorial Hospital. It was not until 1988 that he became a surgeon for Weiser Memorial.
When asked what the most rewarding aspect of his career has been, he answered, “working with trainees and gaining the respect of those who learn from you. It’s extremely rewarding.” He also shared that “back in the day,” during years of training, it was a lot of fun to go through training and gain comradery among other students. Practicing as a student and resident, there is far less responsibility, which makes the experience more fun and exhilarating. Dr. Babij has really enjoyed serving the good people of this area. Giving good care and seeing positive results is also very rewarding, he shared.
The most challenging aspect of his career, he explained, has been the stress of complications in the care of a patient. Dr. Babij lost a lot of sleep over patients who had a more difficult time with their health. “A lot of worry and stress over complications and sometimes mistaken diagnoses,” he said. Having empathy for patients is something he never lacked. “A lot of time has been invested in my career and it has been a privilege and pleasure to care for the people in the community,” Babij shared.
Today, Dr. Babij finished “tying up loose ends and moving accumulated stuff” from his office. His first plan for retirement is to simply step away and breathe. After 34 years, he wishes to relax and enjoy the quiet. Later, he plans to visit his grandkids and take a few biking trips. Beyond that, he shared that he does not have a plan. And sometimes not having a plan is the best feeling!
For his parting words, he shared a quote, “Wisdom comes with age. Sometimes age comes alone.” He said he isn’t sure which one he’s leaving with, but he hopes it is a little bit of wisdom along with the age.
Thank you, Dr. Babij, for your many years of service! Happy retirement!