Obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Serge Cormier has left his medical practice at Mountaineer Healthcare for Women due to health issues.
He has been on the staff at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital since 2006. He was born and trained in Canada but came to the United States in January 1992 and practiced medicine for 34 years.
His departure from medicine is very sad for the SJMH staff and his patients.
He noted in an ad, " I would like to take this opportunity to thank my many patients, who over the years have brought such happiness to my life. There is no greater fulfillment than being able to deliver babies to joyous parents.
"It has been a blessing to be able to do it for so many years and I want to thank all of my patients for allowing me to be part of such a personal experience," Cormier wrote.
"I am very sorry to leave my practice at this time, due to medical issues, but know that my patients will receive the best of care from my colleagues - Dr. Tony Naim, Dr. Matthew Denti and midwife Vicki Smith.
"I want to stay and continue the work I love, but my doctor says that I cannot."
Cormier's good friend and co-worker Dr. Peter Edgerton noted, "This is a great loss to our hospital, the community, the staff and his patients. He has a great pair of hands and great judgment while performing surgery. He is a great doctor and a great friend to me."
Cormier was born in L'Assomption, a small town outside of Montreal, Quebec. His mother Gisele, still lives there. He attended high school and college there studying Greek, Latin and philosophy. When he turned 20 years old, he was in medical school at the University of Montreal.
He served as an army doctor for the Green Berets of Canada from 1979 to 1982. He was also a flight surgeon and was stationed for three years at Lahr, Germany.
He left the military to pursue his dream of becoming an OB/GYN. He studied at the University of Ottawa in that specialty and practiced for ten years in Canada.
"In 1991 I was so busy that I delivered 49 babies and performed 50 surgeries in one month. I decided that it was too much and I had become a slave," he explained. "So I answered an ad for a 'headhunter' and told them I wanted to go to a small rural area. So I ended up in Elkins, West Virginia."
"A couple days after I spoke to the recruiting company, I received airplane tickets and was on my way to Elkins. I never looked anywhere else for a position," he said.
Cormier guesses that he has delivered about 9,000 babies during his career and performed at least 10,000 surgeries. He estimates that he delivered 2,500 babies in West Virginia. The event is so meaningful for him, that deliveries are always touching events.
"I still have tears in my eyes when I deliver a baby," he said. "It is hard to explain but I just loved my job. It is such a rewarding experience even though we have the worst hours (and) the most liability, but it is the most satisfying
He also explained that, being an OB/GYN, he was able to establish relationships with patients that lasted decades.
"Recently I delivered a baby for two parents and I discovered I had delivered both of them as well. That made me feel old," he laughed.
SJMH CEO Avah Stalnaker noted, "Dr. Cormier will be truly missed by his patients, the medical staff, office staff, special delivery birthing center, and surgical staff. Not only is he an excellent physician and person but an asset to administration due to his expertise serving on medical staff committees over the years. He quickly assimilated into our community with his love of hunting and farming. We are all sad to see him leave."
Chief Operating Officer Kevin Stalnaker said, "It is clear from the first time you meet Dr. Cormier that he has passion for his work and a deep compassion for his patients. We appreciate his compassion as it is a pillar of our philosophy here at our hospital. Dr. Cormier has respect from hospital administrators and peers alike. He is a wonderful individual and he will be missed by all of us here at SJMH."
Cormier and his wife Tammy live in Weston. His children are: Amelie Cormier, a nurse a United Hospital Center; the late Anne Sophie; Christophe Cormier; and Siarra Floyd. He has four grandchildren - Eva Summerfield, Zoe Ellifritz, Ashlynn Floyd, and Brighton Floyd.
In summing up his 30 years of medical practice, Cormier said, "I always tried to be a good doctor."