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SAN JOSE — This wasn’t the way 92-year-old Dr. Richard Mahrer or his beloved patients wanted to see his career end: forced out of the cozy, bric-a-brac-filled office he’d worked in since 1956, when San Jose was still a sleepy agricultural hub, and Mahrer charged patients $4 for an appointment.
“Other doctors charged $6,’’ he recalled mischievously this week.
Yet, try as he might to remain upbeat, the day he dreaded had finally arrived: Mahrer was leaving 2206 Business Circle, Suite B, tucked between a Shoe Palace and an Ethiopian restaurant, inside the strip mall at Bascom Avenue and San Carlos Street, best known for the recently closed Time Deli and the recently opened Larry Flynt Hustler emporium.
The cramped building Mahrer had called his second home for at least six decades had suffered water damage after ceiling pipes burst in April, flooding enough of the space that his landlord told the internist he had to vacate, for good, by July 31.
The era of the old-fashioned, independent doctor who still made house calls, lingered with patients during 45-minute appointments, and befriending many along the way — was over.
“I probably should have stopped anyway,’’ admitted Mahrer, who has blood pressure and intestinal issues, and recently lost vision in one eye. “But it’s difficult to leave, because it’s been my life. And I was so attached to the patients.’’
Nancy, his wife and one of his former office managers, called dozens of them to break the news.
“There was a lot of crying,’’ she said….
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