For 26 years, two doctors have maintained an internal medicine practice in Enid, and neither has any plans to give it up soon.

Dennis McIntyre and Daniel Washburn, who both graduated from the University of Oklahoma as medical doctors, started Springs Internal Medicine Associates Inc. in July 1981.

“The main reason we have stayed in practice together is because we get along well,” McIntyre said. “Our schooling taught us it’s unusual to stay in a partnership as long as we have.”

After looking at several areas to start a practice, they chose Enid.

“We chose Enid because we saw a real need for internal medicine doctors,” Washburn said. “We’ve had some of our patients since we started here.”

The doctors said having a private practice has its advantages.

“The biggest reward is the level of patient interaction we have,” McIntyre said. “Specialists address a specific problem, then they usually don’t have much further contact with the patients, whereas we get to follow them through the years and get to see the results of what we do.”

They said setting their own hours allows them freedom to pursue other things.

“We have flexibility and can choose how much we want to work,” Washburn said.

McIntyre likes golf, while Washburn enjoys acting at Gaslight Theatre.

“Acting is really fun and helps me relax,” Washburn said.

The two met when McIntyre was an intern and Washburn was senior resident at OU Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.

“We were assigned together in 1978 and 1979, and worked really well together,” Washburn said. “In 1981, we decided to start this practice.”

Washburn said he considers his job one of the best anyone could have.

“I have always thought of medicine as best thing people could do that they didn’t have to be lucky to get into,” Washburn said.

McIntyre is the second of three generations of doctors in his family.

“I think that since my father was a physician, that influenced me to become a doctor,” McIntyre said.

His oldest son, Brad, is an ear, nose and throat resident doctor at University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas.

The two said they have concerns for what lies in ahead for family and general doctors in Enid.

“I am concerned because there is a lack of primary care doctors, and we hope at some point someone will come in and do the same things we are doing,” Washburn said. “There aren’t many doctors going into primary care, either internal medicine or family practice, because they are choosing more specialized fields.”

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