Letter: Becoming undesirable

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Editor of the Reformer,

Retiring can be difficult. As I entered retirement age, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital began recruiting another orthopedic surgeon to ease into my spot at the BMH Ortho Department suitable for three surgeons. After two years meeting with several potential but not appropriate candidates, Dr. Mike Wack joined the practice and has been a solid addition. Unfortunately, Dr. Vranos had to relocate to Cape Cod for family reasons in 2018, so Dr. Wack took his spot in 2019, not mine. Last October, a delightful young Canadian orthopedist and his wife met with us and loved the countryside and practice opportunity, and made a strong verbal agreement to join the practice this fall after he completed his fellowship in total joint surgery in Ottawa. It took over six months, several lawyers, and of course, money to finally obtain a work visa for the new orthopod.

Last month his equally delightful wife and her father came to Brattleboro to look for a home to rent for the couple and their three young daughters. They stayed at the Latchis Hotel to get a feel for the town. We later learned from the couple that his wife had witnessed people shooting up drugs on the sidewalk outside the hotel; men were "cat calling" at her as she strolled down the sidewalk; and gunshots occurred Saturday night at the bus top on Flat Street. The weekend after their visit, the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings took place, now a standard event in the United States. Not long after, BMH received a notice that they were not coming to Brattleboro. They explained that Brattleboro and the United States were not safe places to raise their family and they will be staying in Canada. A sad testament of where we are as a town and nation.

Jon C. Thatcher, M.D.

Chesterfield, N.H., Sept. 5



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