Dr. James Hill Retires This Week After 40 Years of Practicing in Broomfield
Dr. James Hill, a Broomfield physician who has cared for thousands of patients over his 40-year career, will put on his white coat for the last on Tuesday.
Retirement will mean more time with his wife, children and grandchildren.
“It’s been a long, enjoyable ride,” Hill, 68, said. Tuesday “will be a long, busy day.”
Hill, originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, graduated Louisiana State Medical Center, completed his residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and in 1978, came to work with Dr. William Markel in Broomfield.
His specialization was family medicine — one that has led to him delivering more than 1,000 babies, and in some instances helping those patients bring their own children into the world.
Broomfield Family Practice has seven physicians and five physician assistants. Two doctors are interested in joining after he leaves, Hill said, and hopefully will join this fall.
A lot of the staff has been with the office for 20 or 30 years, he said, and have become an extended family and a big part of the practice’s success.
He and his wife Pam have two sons and three grandchildren.
“I’m looking forward to teaching them bird watching and tennis,” he said, “and all the fun things you do in Colorado.”
Hill enjoys traveling. In fact, one wall of his office is covered with animals he’s photographed in the various countries. Family photos line the table beneath the collection.
When he was going to school, he chose family medicine as his specialization because he enjoyed the variety of types of care, from dermatology and internal medicine to obstetrics.
“I had no idea really how much fun it would be traveling through life,” he said.
He remembers one instance, back when the practice was at 80 Garden Center, a teenage girl came into his office saying she felt weak. When Hill asked the girl, who looked pale and had extremely low blood pressure, if she had been in an accident she said “sort of.”
The day before the wheels on her school bus had come off and she was thrown into the seat before her. When Hill felt her stomach, he found an enlarged liver that he later found was ruptured and bleeding.
The girl was flown to St. Anthony Hospital and survived.
One of the challenges in family medicine is detecting truly life-threatening circumstances in what can otherwise be common illnesses and ailments — diagnosing bacterial endocarditis versus influenza. Over his career, he has learned to trust his instincts when something doesn’t seem to fit.
He also stressed how important it is to listen to patients and act as a reliable source of information so patients can make decisions about their health.
Hill is Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and holds memberships in the American Academy of Family Practice, Colorado Academy of Family Practice, Colorado Medical Society and Clear Creek Valley Medical Society.
He is also a designated Airman Medical Examiner.
Hill’s daughter-in-law, Dr. Shannon Hill, works at the family practice, as well as Markel’s daughter Dr. Susan Robertson.
Broomfield resident Bette Erickson, who met Hill 33 years ago when she was pregnant with her daughter, will start seeing Shannon Hill as her physician.
Hill also has a good sense of humor, Erickson said, and since they are about the same age, she always thought of him as a trusted friend and adviser.
“I found him to be personable, and for that reason preferred seeing him,” she said. “He’s kind and attentive. I think I’ll miss that most — he always took the time to listen and counsel.”
Jennifer Rios: 303-473-1361, firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter.com/Jennifer_Rios