Dr. Edward Oleen, an oncologist with the Phoebe Cancer Center, is retiring after working at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital for almost 25 years. He was the second oncologist to come to the hospital after Dr. Phillip Roberts.
ALBANY, Ga. -- To his co-workers at the Phoebe Cancer Center, he was known as the devoted physician who would come in at midnight to do a bone marrow biopsy.
And now he is moving on.
Dr. Edward Oleen, who has worked as an oncologist at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital since January 1988, is retiring this week.
Oleen is the second oncologist to come on board at Phoebe. He was hired by Dr. Phillip Roberts, for whom the pavilion in the cancer center is named.
"When I came, it was just the two of us," he recalled. "After a few years, it became a bigger group.
"We have worked real well together. That's one thing I'll miss when I retire."
Upon his arrival, Oleen said that Roberts took him out to lunch and introduced him to the medical community -- after which he ultimately made the decision to come here.
In the end, he decided to settle here.
"It is a nice place to live," Oleen said. "If you need to go to a meeting (in Atlanta or Augusta), it is an easy drive.
"It is real easy to live here, and people are really friendly. It is rare to have a disagreement with someone; we get along well."
In that vein, Oleen said it is likely the people he will miss the most after he leaves Phoebe.
"There are pluses and minuses (to retiring)," he said. "I hate leaving the group, but life marches on.
"I have mixed emotions. Whenever there is a change in life, there are mixed feelings. I hate to leave, but you have to just keep going."
Dr. Jose Tongol, a fellow oncologist, said Oleen has been nothing but devoted in the time he has worked at Phoebe.
"He's the most hardworking physician. He is concerned about his patients' welfare," Tongol said. "Every time you need something, he is there. He had devoted all of his time to us.
"He has done bone marrow biopsies at midnight when nobody else does."
Dr. Chirag Jani, another one of Phoebe's oncologists, said he is sad to see Oleen go.
"I have never seen a higher work ethic," Jani said. "We have never heard 'no' from him. 'No' is not in his dictionary.
"He is a great friend, partner and mentor."
Before coming to Phoebe, Oleen worked at Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh, N.C., in general medicine from 1973 until 1979. He also worked with the Mountain Home Veterans Administration Medical Center in Johnson City, Tenn., from October 1985 to December 1987.
Oleen graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1968, after which he graduated from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., in 1972.
He did his internship at North Carolina Baptist Hospital, also in Winston-Salem, and his residency and fellowship at hospitals affiliated with East Tennessee State University College of Medicine in Johnson City. His fellowship ended June 30, 1985.