SHAMOKIN, Pa. -- Around 1,500 people in the Shamokin area must now look for a new doctor after their physician closed his office without warning. Many of those patients came to the office Tuesday to get their medical records.
A steady stream of people walked in and out of Dr. Sanjay Sen's office on Franklin Street in Shamokin. No one was there to see the doctor. They were there to pick up their medical records.
"It's like being in a funeral parlor. Everybody's sad," Albert Small said.
They are sad because of the note on the door. Dr. Sanjay Sen has closed his practice after 10 years. The unexpected closing leaves about 1,500 patients without a doctor.
"We live in Northumberland and I happened to be in Shamokin. He said, 'Why don't you stop by and get the records today because we don't know what is going to happen,'" Veronica Leisenring said.
Newswatch 16 spoke with Dr. Sen back in 2013 when he moved his Shamokin practice to Franklin Street.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, Dr. Sen's medical license is up to date, and he does not have any disciplinary actions against him.
Staff would not comment on why Sen closed his practice, but according to a letter at the office, the doctor has a family emergency. His patients believe he will return to India.
"Ten years coming here and he always treats us nice and we were always welcome. I'm sorry to see him go," Leo Powell said.
Dr. Sen's ex-wife, Dr. Alakananda Chakrabarty has a practice in Shamokin. She will fill Sen's prescriptions for the next 30 days and will see as many of his patients as she can handle. Even so, patients are worried about where they will go next.
"I called another doctor up on (Route) 61 by the motor vehicle department and they're all filled up," Small said.
"We actually had to call the other week because of him not being there. We actually called his wife to refill his prescriptions. It's a sad day," Leisenring said.
The Department of Health advises patients to talk to their insurance companies for recommendations for a new doctor. If they do not have insurance, they can go to any federally qualified health clinic, which does not turn patients away.