In Memoriam: Charles Weispfenning, MD

Kindness requires courage, and Doc Weispfenning had plenty of both. When I began my practice on Vashon in 1998, the term "integrated medicine" wasn't known, and Naturopathic physicians were considered quacks. Still are by some. While other doctors shunned and disparaged my profession, Dr. Weispfenning had the courage to be kind. He volunteered to be the doctor I needed for those insurance contracts, in case I ever needed an MD to provide hospital admission services. The occasion never arose, but Doc signed those contracts for over 10 years without blinking, and made my office and professional career on Vashon possible.

It has been said that intelligence requires the ability to consider different opinions while retaining your own. Dr. Weispfenning was not only highly intelligent, but resourceful. He was the best diagnostician I ever knew. He was kind, compassionate, unassuming, and the epitome of a small town doctor.

Doc went to medical school later in life and practiced medicine on Vashon for over 30 years, retiring only when he knew his patients were in good hands. Those who knew Doc, knew he didn't care about money, or recognition, he cared about people. I have said it many times over the years, and will continue to do so; had it not been for the kindness of Charles Weispfenning, MD, and his belief in my abilities as a doctor, I never would have been successful. As I approach my 20th year in practice, I hope to do his memory justice.