Honoring a career of service

Dr. Patrick Faricy celebrates illustrious medical career
Jan. 20, 2016

Almost a half century ago, a young man named Patrick was at a crossroads in his life: Should he join the family business, then known as the Owen Faricy Motor Company, or set off on his own? Patrick and his brothers, Joe and Mike, had spent many a day tinkering with cars – buying, selling, repairing and buffing the paint until it seemed a mile deep.

Their father had given each of his sons the middle name of “Owen.’’ That way, if they chose to go into the family business, the signs on the building would not need to be changed.

Dr. Patrick Faricy
Dr. Patrick Faricy, former chief medical officer for Memorial Hospital.

It was good planning. The other Faricy boys grew their family into a local dynasty, but Patrick never followed in his father’s footsteps. Instead, he went first to St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, where he studied Latin, Gregorian Chant and philosophy in preparation to become a Catholic priest. The young Faricy boy wanted to serve people, but after a few months, he reconsidered the priesthood. “Frankly, I wondered what I would do on Tuesdays,’’ he says.

Instead, he chose to serve by becoming a doctor. During the turbulent days of the Vietnam War, he set out for the University of Colorado Boulder, where he earned his medical degree. After a stint in the Air Force, he practiced medicine in Sheridan, Wyo., then returned to Colorado Springs and joined Urological Associates, a practice that grew to prominence. Throughout that time, he also served for eight years as president of the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners.

In February 2011, he became the Chief Medical Officer of Memorial Hospital. In that post, he led more than 100 employed physicians and 1,000 other physicians with privileges through the historic transition from a city-owned hospital to UCHealth, complete with a new electronic medical record and many other initiatives that improved the quality and safety of patient care.

Now, after 42 years in medicine, the man known for his bow ties and bushy eyebrows has decided to retire from medicine. His last day at Memorial will be at the end of January.

“Dr. Faricy is first and foremost a gentleman doctor and a gracious leader,’’ said George Hayes, president and CEO of Memorial Hospital, in a letter announcing Dr. Faricy’s retirement. “For many moons, we’ll hear Dr. Faricy’s voice telling us what patients want: ‘Don’t hurt me. Make me better. Be nice to me. Tell me what you are doing to me.’ ’’

Over the span of his rewarding career, Dr. Faricy has been instrumental in teaching clinicians the finer points of patient care, especially when it comes to quality and safety. And even as one of the top officers of the hospital, Dr. Faricy found that the best part of his job was making rounds and visiting patients.

“Sitting down on the side of the bed and just talking to patients – there’s just that trust, there’s just nothing like it,’’ he says.

During four decades of medicine, Dr. Faricy has kept a rigorous schedule. He wants to spend time exercising, reading books and enjoying his six grandchildren.

But that doesn’t mean the good doctor will give up serving people. He’ll probably continue volunteering at Peak Vista, a community health center, to see patients who need assistance with urological issues.

And with a mostly unencumbered schedule, he might still wonder what to do on Tuesdays. But now he’s got all the time in the world to figure it out.

About the author

Erin Emery is editor of UCHealth Today, a hub for medical news, inspiring patient stories and tips for healthy living. Erin spent years as a reporter for The Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette and Colorado Springs Sun. She was part of a team of Denver Post reporters who won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting.

Erin joined UCHealth in 2008, and she is awed by the strength of patients and their stories.