I just finished writing my holiday cards. No, I’m neither real late nor real early. The cards are for Doctors’ Day, the one day in the year that we take time to thank physicians for all that they do.
Our GBMC HealthCare System is blessed to have such talented doctors. I recall when I was interviewing for the job of CEO, everyone wanted to tell me what a wonderful medical staff we had. I remember thinking that no one would say that they didn’t have a great medical staff. But I have been a member of a number of medical staffs and seen many more. After almost 3 years on the job, I now know that those who were telling me that GBMC had an exceptional medical staff were not exaggerating. It is true.
As a group, our physicians are very talented. But on the day that we recognize them, most patients call out their physician’s dedication as the thing that they are most grateful for. And our GBMC doctors are very dedicated.
Webster’s dictionary defines dedication as self-sacrificing devotion. I see examples of this everyday at GBMC. The surgeon who has spent the entire day in the operating room who just arrived home for dinner and is now quickly back in the car to take care of a patient who needs emergent care. The obstetrician and the neonatologist who come in at 2 am for the birth of a premature baby. The radiologist coming in on Sunday to do an intervention. The internist coming to the hospital in the evening to explain a bad diagnosis to a worried spouse. The emergency medicine physician volunteering at a community event on his day off helping an injured little girl or the pediatric emergency physician staying late at the hospital to make sure that the same little girl gets precisely the care that she needs.
When physicians of a certain age get together and discuss their concerns about the future of medicine, they always talk about their fear of the loss of this dedication. They are concerned that the push-pull of career vs. personal and family life will cause the deterioration of self-sacrifice. I must say that I do not see any loss of dedication.
This week I was at the quarterly meeting of the Greater Baltimore Medical Associates, our employed physicians. The primary care site physician leaders were discussing the fantastic success of Saturday office hours. In turn, each physician manager minimized the effect of giving up some family and personal time and highlighted what the change meant to their patients. Hearing this, I was reassured that the future of medicine as a profession is bright. Dedication to the call of patient care is alive and it is strong.
So, if there is a doctor who has shown her dedication to you, why don’t you send her a note, an email, a card, or give her a call and just briefly say thank-you. You can even find free "e-cards" for Doctor's Day here. And don't forget that the GBMC Foundation is still accepting donations if you wish to recognize a GBMC physician - just click here.
On Doctors’ Day it is right to show gratitude for the dedication of our physicians.
Thoughts and Prayers Needed
Please keep Dr. Ted Houk, an Internal Medicine physician and member of the GBMC family since 1992, in your thoughts and prayers. Dr. Houk is well-known for jogging every day, no matter the weather, from his Lutherville home to his York Road office. On Thursday morning, his daily commute turned tragic when Dr. Houk was struck and critically injured by an automobile not far from the GBMC campus. Dr. Houk is being cared for by the world's foremost experts in trauma medicine at Shock Trauma in downtown Baltimore, and our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Houk and his family at this difficult time.
On a final note, the GBMC HealthCare family sends its best wishes to everyone celebrating Easter this Sunday.