Despite being well into retirement age, Azer continues to work in the emergency room a few scheduled days a month at Scripps Memorial and Scripps Mercy Hospitals, as well as operate his own practice.
The octogenarian and Massachusetts native studied at the State University of New York, with residencies at Boston Medical Center and Tufts University to follow. After training “back east for about 8 years,” Azer and his late wife, Evelyn, decided to make the move to warmer climes.
“After visiting San Diego during November, with people on the beach, we figured this was paradise,” said Azer, who has now called the city home for 40 years. Evelyn died two years ago.
“It was a big challenge to change location and lifestyle. We were married for 65 years, so I am still in the process of adjusting.”
While Azer has a great deal of experience as an ENT surgeon, his sole purpose is to help the patient, not his ego.
“I’ve learned that I don’t always have to be the best,” said Azer. “Maybe 90 percent of the time, I can help the patient directly, while the other five percent of the time, someone knows more on the issue than I do. When this is the case, I make my recommendations to the patient that another doctor would be better suited to meet their needs.”
During this period of adjustment, Azer was encouraged to move into White Sands by rector David Borreiro, who is married to his son, Stephen. He has now lived there for two years.
“It’s really a challenging type of thing I do,” he said. “It’s something that I’d like to continue. Back in the 1930s, the average age of death was under 65 years-old. Now, people live well into their 80s, which allows them time to do what they love.
“Not all the residents of White Sands are retired – a good many are still working, and everyone else is leading productive lives," said Azer. "I look off the patio into the ocean and feel blessed to find this nice place, a community, to live in and go into the next phase of my life.”