Fifty years of service to Queensland town Biloela and Dr Tan is not ready to retire just yet

As rural locations across Australia struggle to attract new doctors, a GP in one small central Queensland town is celebrating a very special milestone.

Born overseas, Dr Richard Tan first arrived in Biloela to work as a doctor in the 1960s.

"It was a small town but it was very friendly," Dr Tan said.

"Being the only Chinaman in town, I didn't notice any sort of racial discrimination at that time."

Biloela resident Marilyn McKeown was one of Dr Tan's first patients when he opened up a surgery in the middle of town in 1968.

"I was a very young and pregnant 17-year-old," Ms McKeown said.

"I [still] remember that feeling of confidence in him at that first appointment in 1968. It was a very significant moment for me."

Dr Tan ended up delivering Ms McKeown's baby and two more sons that followed, as well as countless other babies born in Biloela in the last 50 years.

"Because I did obstetrics, I've seen a couple of generations of children grow up in that time," he said.

Doctor has delivered countless babies

Dr Tan and his wife also had children of their own, which cemented their place in the town.

"Once I settled into the practice and the children were growing up and going to school, we just stayed on," he said.

"I don't like the big smoke. I don't like traffic and built up areas. I prefer my quiet existence in the small town.

"You can't help that some of your patients are your close friends as well, so that's been quite rewarding."

Dr Tan stopped delivering babies last year, and no longer does night calls or emergency call-outs.

"Life is pretty easy at the moment," he said.

"Over the years, I've had an interest in racing horses. I've got a farm where I now raise squab pigeons and fish."

Despite hitting the 50-year milestone this week, Dr Tan has no plans to retire.

"While I'm in good health and I can still remember people's names, I think I'll keep going for a bit longer," he said.

That is welcome news to Ms KcKeown.

"The community have been blessed to have had the continuing care of such a competent and knowledgeable and caring doctor," she said.

For more information on financial planning for doctors and medical professionals in Brisbane and Sydney, please visit the Whole Wealth Medical Page.

This article was published and provided by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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