Dr. Tom Burke is retiring this week after 42 years in practice, the vast majority alongside his wife, Dr. Mary Frances Burke.

“It’s time,” he said.” “People have always told me ‘when you get there, you’ll know.’” He’s ready to spend more time working on the house, gardening, fishing and hanging out with family.

Mary Frances is not retiring, and will remain in practice at Banner Health Clinic. Many of their patients are accustomed to seeing both Burkes, so her remaining in the clinic is a welcome relief for their patients, many of whom they’ve been seeing for more than 40 years.

Dr. Burke has seen a lot of changes in medicine in four decades of practice, from changes in administration and paperwork, to huge changes in imaging and medications.

“What’s funny is the questions are the same,” he said. “But the answers are different. I’ve loved watching the beautiful changes in medicine. So many lives saved.”

Born and raised in Casper, Dr. Burke became interested in medicine around the age of 14 after his brother was killed in a car accident. In high school, he went to boarding school in Wisconsin and learned about a medical school program at the University of Missouri. It was there that he met Mary Frances. The two were among the first graduating classes at the then-brand-new school.

Mary Frances is originally from Kansas City, Missouri. They finished medical school a year apart and were engaged in Denver before deciding to relocate to Casper where they raised their five children.

The Burkes spent most of their time practicing family medicine in their independent practice in Casper. They transitioned their practice to Wyoming Medical Center in early 2020, shortly before Banner Health acquired the hospital and associated clinics that fall.

“Saying goodbye is hard,” said Dr. Burke. “By far my favorite part about practicing medicine has been the patients. I have loved helping people get well.”

When asked what his best piece of advice he could offer to patients and non-patients alike, Dr. Burke didn’t hesitate: “Exercise for the body, develop relationships for the soul,” he said. “Create those life-long habits, it’s a big deal.”

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