After wrapping up his 11th year at Montauk’s Meeting House Lane Medical Practice, Dr. Tony Knott—the hamlet’s lone general practitioner—will bid farewell to the hundreds of local patients he’s treated over the past decade.Dr. Knott earned a reputation from his loyal patients for being something of “a dying breed,” said longtime patient and friend Donna Hadjipopov. From making house calls for the elderly to taking the extra time to fully listen and understand a patient’s concerns, Dr. Knott was exceptional, she said.
“He really listens deeply,” said Ms. Hadjipopov by phone on Monday. “I think that apart from the fact that’s he’s humane and caring, he really goes well beyond what anyone would do. He doesn’t live close by, but he’ll go see his patients at the hospital on his way back home.”
And while Dr. Knott has been good to the Montauk community, the people of Montauk have been the most important and rewarding part of practicing medicine on the East End, he said.
Originally from New York City, Dr. Knott worked as a practitioner on a Navajo Indian reservation in northern Arizona for five years prior to making his way to the tip of Long Island. Now a resident of East Moriches, Dr. Knott said the year-rounders made the hour-plus drive well worth it.
“I’m a little burnt out,” he said of his commute. “But I love it here. The people were real. My relationship with them was real, and I feel like I really connected with my patients. They’re hard-working, and I really respect and admire them.”
Dr. Knott was working at his own practice, the Montauk Medical Center, until 2009 when he joined Meeting House Lane Medical, a subsection of Southampton Hospital, created to help private practitioners stay in business.
“It became obvious to me after buying the practice, that having a relationship with the hospital, not having to struggle to meet the financial prospects of a practice, would be better for everyone—myself, the staff and the patients,” Dr. Knott said of the change during a 2009 interview.
As for his future, Dr. Knott has plans to move to England and briefly retire from medicine to work on some more creative projects. “I have some writing that I’ve been working on for 15, 20 years, so I’m going to dedicate some time to that,” said the father of two college-age boys, Brendan and Ian.
“Again, I had a really rich experience in Montauk, and I’ll miss them dearly. It’s one of those things that’s, like, ‘Gee, you never know what can happen,’ so I’m keeping an open mind.”
The Meeting House Lane Medical Practice has not yet hired a replacement for Dr. Knott, whose final day of work is November 21, but is planning to rotate doctors in shifts to cover appointments in Montauk during the interim.