Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette Dr. Larry McClure will close his private practice on Dec. 29 to begin working full-time at the VA Clinic in Clarkson.

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

Dr. Larry McClure will close his private practice on Dec. 29 to begin working full-time at the VA Clinic in Clarkson.

After 29 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Larry McClure will close his private practice, located in Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center, on Dec. 29, 2017.

McClure, who has worked part-time at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Clinic in Clarkson since August, is closing his practice to begin working full-time at the VA on Jan. 8, 2018.

McClure cites a lighter work schedule and a desire for something new as the primary reasons for his decision.

He has never considered retirement, and, at the VA, he will work five days per week from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., as opposed to his current schedule, which keeps him at work often until later than 7:30 p.m.

McClure is looking forward to a little extra time off, and having more time to spend with his four grandchildren, aged 9, 9, 11, and 12.

McClure said practicing medicine has always been his calling, and, no matter where he was at any given time in his life, he always felt that was where he was meant to be.

That attitude has afforded him a long career in medicine. He attended University of Louisville Medical School and had his residency at St. Mary's Medical Center in Evansville, IN, both of which, he says, he "totally loved."

"I had a fantastic residency at St. Mary's," he said. "They taught us everything. You come out with a lot of confidence, but you learn real quick that trial and error and experience will get you through."

Alongside his brother, Bob, Larry McClure returned to Grayson County from medical school and went into practice with Dr. Victor Duvall for a year and a half. There, he provided full family medical services, including delivering babies, the memories of which he cherishes.

"I was very close to my OB (Obstetrics) patients back in those days," he said, adding that he enjoyed the surgical aspects of it, as well as the personal relationships he built with his patients.

He worked in Grayson County initially for seven years before leaving in 1985 to work in the emergency room at St. Mary's in Evansville, where he had done his residency.

Larry McClure spent three years in Evansville before moving to Ashland, KY to open a general family practice. He stayed in Ashland for seven years, before returning home to Grayson County in 1995.

He said he had just had bypass surgery and, during his recovery, he felt homesick for Grayson County and wanted to come back home. He did so, and bought his family farm, raising angus beef cattle for a few years alongside his father.

After his father passed away, he switched to raising soybeans.

He has been in his current practice since 1995, and, for five years, he worked under the Twin Lakes Medical Foundation, before purchasing his practice from the hospital in 2000. He has served as a solo practitioner since then.

Over his decades-long career, Larry McClure has seen many changes come to the medical field, chief of which being an increase in the amount of required paperwork and documentation.

While this has slowed medical providers down -- in decades past, patients could call or come to the door and be seen by their doctor the same day -- he feels the documentation is a good thing for medicine because more information is readily available about patients.

"Charts used to consist of a couple of lines," he said with a laugh.

At the VA, Larry McClure said, he has been welcomed with open arms.

The clinic recently took the initiative to recruit more family doctors and nurse practitioners, and, after the VA approached him, he spoke with his family and close friends about what he should do, and they encouraged him to do what he felt was best for himself.

He began the credentialing process, and, in August, he committed to working at the VA two days per week before finally deciding to go there full-time.

"The hardest part was what will I do with all my patients?" he said, adding that he has known them all so long he cannot help but wonder what will happen to them.

However, he said, "I think they're going to be in good hands."

Other practices will absorb most of his patients, and his staff has yet to make any other commitments. He hopes the hospital will purchase the practice and bring a new provider in.

He can no longer accept new patients and, after Dec. 29, he will not be able to refill any prescriptions, so he encourages his current patients to get their refills soon, if needed.

Additionally, patients can request copies of their charts from his office staff by calling 270-259-9116 or visiting the office.

"They have been my life, you know," he said of his patients. "I hope I made their lives better."

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

Dr. Larry McClure will close his private practice on Dec. 29 to begin working full-time at the VA Clinic in Clarkson.