Doctor turns heads by 'rolling' his way into retirement

Dr. Phillip Masterson retired after a nearly 40-year career.

Doctor turns heads by 'rolling' his way into retirement
Courtesy of Nichole Masterson
January 9, 2024, 5:33 PM

When Dr. Phillip Masterson retired from his medical practice after a nearly 40-year career, he decided to have some fun.

On his last day as an emergency medicine physician at TotalCare Emergency Room in Denton, Texas, Masterson roller-skated through his office, a moment caught on camera by his daughter, who shared it on TikTok, where it went viral.

"I was trying to have some fun with my staff as I was retiring," Masterson told "Good Morning America." "I wanted to do something fun for them and something they didn't know that I could do."

Dr. Phillip Masterson celebrated his retirement by rollerskating at the TotalCare Emergency Room office in Denton, Texas.
Courtesy of Nichole Masterson

Of the reaction to his video, he added, "I'm surprised how much attention I've received since that video went viral on TikTok."

Masterson said he got the idea to roller-skate his way to retirement from a good friend, who had wanted to do just that but didn't get a chance to because she had to retire earlier than expected.

"After talking with her, the two of us decided, 'You know what, Phil? Why don't you roller-skate through here?'" Masterson recalled. "I said yes."

Masterson then surprised his staff by skating and dancing to Ray Charles' "Hit the Road Jack," to everyone's delight.

Masterson has worked as a physician since 1985. He practiced for two decades in Detroit, Michigan before moving to Texas.
Courtesy of Phillip Masterson

The longtime doctor, who has worked as a physician since 1985, said he has been roller-skating since his late teens, and over the years, it became a way for him to de-stress from his high-pressure job.

"Roller-skating became a very strong source of a stress reliever for me, as well as exercise. And it was always a lot of fun for me," he said.

Masterson, 69, said he feels “bittersweet” about retiring from medicine but is also “very excited” about his next chapter.
Courtesy of Phillip Masterson

For his next chapter, Masterson said he and his wife Sherry Masterson -- who retired the week before he did -- plan on moving to Spain and living there for at least a year. He said he hopes to study music and art as well.

"We have a lot of travel plans in store that we're looking forward to, but we have so many family members and good friends in the United States. We're looking to do this as a temporary measure," he said.

Masterson said his message to others to “enjoy life as much possible because life is so precious and fleeting.”
Courtesy of Phillip Masterson

As to what life advice he would give to others, Masterson added, "What I would share with people is to always be true to yourself and enjoy life as much as possible because life is so precious and fleeting."

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