Retiring doctor reflects on 'rewarding' 51-year career

- The halls at Dr. Domenick Reina's pediatric clinic in Tampa are lined with photos of children -- thousands of them from over the past 51 years.

"The notes that I get from the patients and their parents, it's just nice," Dr. Reina said.  "The other night I was at one of my favorite Italian restaurants and this lady walks up and introduces herself and she reminded me that I took care of her 48 years ago, and now I'm seeing her grandson."

Dr. Reina has seen a lot of changes during his 51 years of practice. He graduated from Tulane Medical School but wanted to come back home to start his career.

In the early days, there wasn't much technology to help, but he did see a lot more patients.

"On an average day you would see more than 30.  Now you are probably in the 20's," Reina said.

While Dr. Reina is excited about his retirement, he will miss the personal interaction with his patients and their parents.

FOX 13's Dr. Joette Giovinco was one of Dr. Reina's patients, and her children were too.

"He just had that great bedside manner, so he was able to talk to you calm you down and tell you what you needed to do."

Those whose lives he touched know he's a rare breed who will be hard to replace.  Dr. Reina has cherished every minute, but says it's time to go.

"Dealing with the people has been very rewarding," he added.

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