After 50 years, NE Nebraska doctor has no plans to retire

Eufemia Didonato

CREIGHTON, Neb. (AP) — A Northeast Nebraska doctor recently celebrated 50 years in Creighton, and he doesn’t plan on retiring any time soon.

Dr. Douglas Laflan, a Kearney native who earned his medical degree from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in Omaha, didn’t envision practicing medicine in a rural area for more than three or four years. But, he said, “marriage and mortgage” have kept him in southern Knox County for five decades and counting.

The 78-year-old doctor specializes in family medicine and operates under the roof of Laflan Medical Clinic with his daughter Lindsay in downtown Creighton. The two are the go-to sources for checkups in immunization, heartburn, indigestion and more in the town of 1,200 people.

Laflan was born and raised in Kearney and graduated from Kearney High School in 1960. He doesn’t know when he started developing an interest in medicine, but trips to the dentist with his father, as well as witnessing his mother fall ill with leukemia, helped Laflan know that medicine is what he wanted to practice.

He also had earned a job at a Kearney hospital out of high school and worked in and around the emergency room, piquing his medical curiosity.

Laflan enrolled at Kearney State College at the time to pursue a pre-medical degree. After a couple years in college, he opted to move to Los Angeles and work with a friend who had helped get him a job in that area.

But it was shortly thereafter that Laflan’s mother received a leukemia diagnosis and Laflan returned home to help care for her. His mother’s fatal diagnosis, combined with the physical demand of the work he had been doing in California, triggered Laflan’s decision to stay in Kearney and resume his pursuit of a degree.

“There was a lot happening for me at that time. My mother passed from cancer, and I was starting to deal with some problems related to arthritis,” he told the Norfolk Daily News. “So I had to take a step back from some things and decided to finish school.”

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