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Petersburg's Physician

Washington and Lee alumnus Dr. Burke Steele, of the Class of 1955, loves to talk about history — especially the history of Petersburg, Va., where he has lived for 73 years, and worked in the same office, on South Market Street, for nearly 50 years.

While he majored in history at W&L and had planned on a career in law, Burke changed his mind and went to the Medical College of Virginia. After receiving the M.D., he spent two years as a doctor in the Navy before returning home and opening his general practice in Petersburg in 1963.

for a recent feature story, he isn’t sure how many patients he’s treated, but he does know that he is the longest-practicing physician in Petersburg.

As the Progress-Index notes, Steele may be slowing down a bit now that he’s in his late 70s, but he still sees between 15 to 20 patients a day and says he has thought about retirement only “for a minute.”