Entering his 33rd year of practice this year, Dr. James Balger began mulling over plans for retirement. There was certainly a lot to consider after spending so much time in one community serving generations of patients. Then something happened that made his decision much easier — his daughter, Abbi, also a doctor became available to join Family Medical Associates of Charlotte.

“I’m going to miss so many people, that’s going to be hard,” Balger said of plans to retire at the end of the month. “But, knowing Abbi is here softens that blow. My patients will still be seeing Dr. Balger and I know they are going to receive excellent care from her.”

Abbi joined the practice in March following a stint as an emergency room physician with Sparrow Hospital and Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital. She performed her residency in Chicago following her graduation from Wayne State Medical School.

James’ wife, Sue will stay on and continue to help run the practice for a while to make sure there is a smooth transition. She said it is sad to see him retire because the patients have become like family over the years.

“After 33 years, you start to see some of them more than your own children,” she said.

On the other hand, she said it is “awesome” to see their daughter continue what was started so long ago.

James said the plans are to move north to Higgins Lake, where he can help out at a small practice in Roscommon. Aside from that, he said he hopes to spend a little more time on the golf course.

Patients and community members are invited to a retirement reception on Sunday, Aug. 24 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Maple Brook Golf Course (formerly the Charlotte Country Club).

“There have been so many great memories and I’ve met so many wonderful people,” James said. “I want to thank the wonderful people of the greater-Charlotte area for their confidence in me and for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their lives.”

James’ last day with Family Medical Associates of Charlotte is Friday, Aug. 29. The practice is located at 134 S. Cochran Avenue, Suite B in Charlotte.Balger Retirement