TAMPA (FOX 13) - Dr. Charles Crist provided care and love to the people he treated. He served his community for more than half a century, and the 84-year-old physician took FOX 13 News along as he looked back on his 55 years in medicine.
Dr. Crist said 55 years doesn't really seem that long.
"I liked what I was doing," he said with a laugh. "I think I was pretty good at it to and I enjoyed it."
Dr. Crist retired from Mound Park Hospital, now Bayfront Health, last month. He also spent time at Mercy Hospital, a hospital for African Americans during segregation.
Dr. Crist came to Tampa in 1960 to do an internship and never left.
"After I was here for a couple of months, I told my wife... I said, 'I'm not leaving.' I've never been sorry I've stayed," Dr. Crist recalled. "It's been a great ride."
Dr. Crist's passion for medicine runs deep to his soul.
"It's a way of life. It's not just a profession," he said. "You really have to be a people-person.You have to understand them, you have to understand their problems and you have to like to help people," Dr. Crist said.
The best advice he had for young doctors - listen to the patients.
"Let them talk, because if they talk long enough, they will tell you what's wrong with them," Dr. Crist said. "It's better than any MRI. It's better than any x-ray. It's better than any laboratory test."
Dr. Crist said he is proud to call the Bay Area home.
"It's a wonderful place to live. It couldn't have been a better place to raise a family," he said.
Dr. Crist doesn't know what he is going to do in retirement. He and his wife, Nancy have three daughters and one son, former Governor Charlie Crist.