Caring for patients and practicing medicine became a passionate personal commitment for Charles Kinzer, MD. So, when the doctor, retired from his primary care practice, he dedicated the next 15 years to caring for patients free of charge. Dr. Kinzer volunteered his time at the Annapolis Outreach Center (now the Community Health Center) which provides free medical care to underserved and underinsured patients.
“The center is important because it provides a way for patients who have limited resources to go for primary care,” Dr. Kinzer says. “I wanted to keep a hand in medicine, and stay involved in the field,” Dr. Kinzer says. So, in addition to conferences and continuing education, he spent one day a month seeing patients at the center. It provided him with a way to maintain a link with the community—a community that has always been important to him.
He says he first chose to come to Annapolis in 1965 because, at the time, it was a country town with a couple of colleges and the seat of the State Government. When he joined AAMC, there were only 65 doctors on staff, and everyone knew each other.
Even though the town and the medical center have grown significantly since then, Dr. Kinzer believes it’s important to hold on to the personal aspect of medicine. “Put away your machines and listen to your patients,” he says, “They are telling you the diagnosis.”
Dr. Kinzer brought that personal touch, and deep concern for the person as a whole to the patients he saw at the free clinic. “They all had stories to tell,” he says. “That’s what made medicine fascinating.”
He recently retired from his volunteer position at the clinic after 48 years in of practicing medicine and caring for our community. Now he enjoys going to lunch with the RODEO gang (Retired Old Docs Eating Out). It’s a way of keeping up with partners and friends.