The medical community is mourning the loss of one of its own after Warrnambool doctor Stuart Smith passed away last week.
Dr Smith retired in 2016 after working at the Warrnambool Medical Clinic for 38 years.
Practice manager Alistair Ross said staff at the clinic were shocked, saddened and grieving Dr Smith's passing.
"It will be a shock to all his patients," Mr Ross said.
Dr Smith first came to Warrnambool with his wife, Dr Jacqueline Rounsevell, in the mid-1970s.
Originally from Melbourne, the couple had met while studying medicine at Monash University.
After graduating, Dr Smith came to Warrnambool as a resident doctor working at the base hospital before spending four months in private practice at Auburn Clinic, which is now known as Cambourne.
The couple then went to the UK in 1978 where Dr Smith spent a year working in obstetrics. Upon their return to Warrnambool, they both went to work at Warrnambool Medical Clinic where he became a partner in 1979.
Dr Smith's main focus was obstetrics, which he continued until 1997, and by then he'd helped deliver more than 1000 local babies.
When the couple retired in 2016 they paid tribute to their patients who Dr Smith had described as like family.
"It's been a way of life, it's been a real honour, our patients are almost like family," Dr Smith had said.
In 2012, Dr Smith's work was recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony in Melbourne for the profound impact he'd had on the health and wellbeing of local people.
The RWAV Victorian rural doctor awards celebrated the significant and ongoing contribution rural doctors and their families make to the communities they live and work in.
Dr Smith has served as a board member, St John of God advisory committee member, Warrnambool Medical Staff Group member and was secretary of the local Australian Medical Association from 1990 to 2007.
He's also mentored and taught dozens of medical students and hospital registrars.
Dr Smith was heavily involved in sport. He was a past president and player with both Warrnambool Volleyball Association and Warrnambool Golf Club and worked as a course doctor for Warrnambool Racing Club.