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Pediatrician Frederick Roberts retires after 69 years of practice

Pediatrician Frederick Roberts retires after 69 years of practice

Frederick Roberts, MD

He may have taken care of your parents or grandparents as babies. That's how long Dr. Frederick Roberts has been practicing pediatrics in Central New York. In 69 years, he estimates caring for 400,000 patients.

When he "retired" in 1996, Roberts opened a practice for underprivileged children. He wrote a couple of collections of short stories, gave a Grand Rounds lecture at the medical school, and continued seeing patients. Now at 92, Roberts says it's time to retire for real.

His colleagues surprised him this afternoon with a celebratory cake and words about his storied career. Roberts is easily the oldest practicing and longest practicing pediatrician in Central New York. He grew up in the 1920s and '30s in a house near the intersection of East Fayette and McBride streets. His father's office was on the first floor.

He earned his medical degree around the corner at the Syracuse University School of Medicine, which today is Upstate Medical University, and then served time with the Navy before starting his pediatrics practice in 1945. Telephones were rotary dial back then, and no one had heard of beepers. Doctors dispensed their own medicines and made house calls, charging $3 or $4 per visit. Bills were done in pencil and paper. Penicillin was new. Measles vaccinations didn't exist.

Roberts is credited with launching Central New York‘s first cystic fibrosis clinic and has received numerous awards for his teaching and clinical work.

Read The Post-Standard story about Roberts' retirement.

Read the YNN story and watch the video.

Read about "Children Courageous and Their Families."