CHATHAM — One of the town’s longtime “country doctors,” Thomas Halliday, III, M.D., died last Monday from complications of COVID-19. He was 86 years old, and was still seeing patients until shortly before he fell ill.
Dr. Halliday is described as a dedicated physician who cared about the people in his practice. Perhaps best known as a longtime partner at Chatham Medical Associates on Crowell Road, Dr. Halliday most recently practiced geriatric medicine as an attending physician at several area nursing homes. He was one of the first three attending physicians at Liberty Commons when the facility opened in 1986, Broad Reach CEO Bill Bogdanovich said.
“As I understand it, faced with a COVID-19 outbreak among his patients, he doubled down and continued to treat,” Bogdanovich said. “He knew the risk that posed to him, but for him, there would’ve been no question.”
A native of New York City, Dr. Halliday practiced family medicine in Upstate New York before moving to Cape Cod in 1974. He joined Chatham Medical Associates, where he worked for years with physicians Robert Insley and Robert Harned. When the practice closed in 2013, it was one of the longest continuous primary care offices on Cape Cod.
Dr. Halliday was the epitome of the beloved country doctor, Bogdanovich said.
“He was a guy who listened and heard what his patients and their families had to say, long before that was really expected of physicians,” he said. Further fitting the stereotype, Dr. Halliday shunned electronic record-keeping.
“He was steadfast that he would not develop a relationship with computers and electronic medical records,” Bogdanovich quipped. “It was always said that his first commitment was to his patients, not his penmanship. But he did not see his vocation as keyboarding, either.”
Jo Farley, nursing director at the Terraces in Orleans, where Dr. Halliday was medical director for the last nine years, said he will be missed.
“He always treated his patients and family members with the utmost respect and honored their wishes for the care they received. He was a man of few words with a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that he would readily share with anyone,” she said. “He was the essence of a general practitioner of long ago and will be sorely missed by our residents and staff at the Terraces.”