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Bundy Turns Out the Lights on a Long Career

June 30, 2022

Robert Bundy, MD, chose July 5 as his official retirement date, closing out 37 years of practicing medicine in eastern Connecticut. “It’s my Independence Day,” he said with a chuckle. A pulmonologist with deep experience in critical care, Bundy might be best known in the region as the “sleep doctor.” Medical director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Windham Hospital for the last 22 years, Bundy is a leader in the specialty of sleep disorders in Connecticut. He helped found the Center, which is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine & The Joint Commission. Now 70, he said it is time to step aside and join his wife in retirement, with plans to “have no deadlines or timelines, we can leave early or stay late. We will have the freedom to roam,” he said. It was during his residency at Case Western Reserve University that Bundy secured a fellowship that combined all his interests: pulmonology, critical care and sleep disorders. “Nowadays, these would all be separate fellowships, but back then they were combined,” he said. Through this work he connected the dots between good sleep and good health, and potential barriers to both. Patients at the Center range from children to the elderly, he said. Sometimes the issue is just sleep, but often it can be connected to other health issues, including cardiac, ear nose and throat, and even neuropsychiatry. “We used to just get referrals from pulmonologists, but we have now seen referrals double, even triple, and they come from many different specialties.” Bundy is beloved by patients, receiving five star reviews across the spectrum of online platforms. Almost all the posts note that Bundy is a “good listener.” “Working with a patient is an interactive process,” he said. “”It’s an interactive discussion. It’s an interactive relationship. You as the physician are more schooled and more knowledgeable when it comes to diagnosis and treatment, but the patient needs to be heard and needs to be validated. They need to know that you are taking into account what they say.” He wrote a letter to all his patients informing them of his retirement because there are too many to say goodbye to in person. “I told them that each of them were an inspiration to me,” he said. “They often don’t see how strong a person they are, how they cope and deal with their health and other issues. Our job is to try and make them better. They put their trust in us. I hope I helped them.”