Friday, March 25, 2011

Thanking Our Doctors for Doing Great Things…Big and Small

National Doctors’ Day is Wednesday, March 30 and I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the vast contributions our physicians make every day to GBMC and the patients who count on them for the very best care. It’s very clear that the American healthcare system has the advantage of the best trained physicians in the world. At GBMC, our physicians are wholeheartedly committed to this profession and have made great sacrifices through years of training and education, having to frequently put their lives and their family lives on hold to meet the needs of patients. But they do this because they are committed to helping others. Being a doctor is truly a giving calling.
When I reflect back on being a physician, I can recognize that the most beautiful part of the profession is the relationships that are developed with individual patients. Sure, we talk a lot about reform and redesigning our systems, but the heart of this profession is caring for people.  In our zeal to make things better in this country’s healthcare system, we can’t lose sight of the phenomenal work our physicians do.
There are so many ways in which doctors touch the lives of people - in service to individual patients, dedicating themselves to redesigning and improving systems, and partaking in endeavors outside of their normal daily work. Look at physicians like Dr. Carol Ritter and the team of doctors and healthcare providers who selflessly give incredible amounts of time and help to the citizens of Haiti. It is often the small heroic acts that truly make a difference in this world.
When I think about it, GBMC is a little different from the other places I’ve been – it’s a community teaching hospital with a truly phenomenal group of doctors. As a group, the physicians have been so welcoming to me since I first joined the organization last year, and I have found them to be so willing to reflect on how their work can be even better. I haven’t found that everywhere in a medical staff. I’m truly grateful for the support of the entire medical staff – both the wonderful rank and file doctors and the terrific physician leaders at GBMC. I owe a debt of thanks to Dr. Hal Tucker, Chief of the Medical Staff, and Dr. John Saunders, Chief Medical Officer – they are not only incredible doctors who have a great reputation for better health, better care, and efficiency in their own practices, but I also know them as great leaders and people who go above and beyond to not only make things better for patients, but also for fellow physicians. I have certainly been impressed by the dedication of the entire GBMC medical staff and thank them for the great things they do – both big and small. 
So, we should take a moment, or at least one day, to thank physicians for their commitment to serving others. Doctors’ Day is the one day we really stop and say, “thank you,” for all that our physicians do.  And, if it were my loved one, I would be most confident that they would be in the very best of hands being taken care of by a member of GBMC’s medical staff.
Do you have a story to share about a dedicated GBMC physician? If so, please share your comments…
P.S. - I had the experience of being a patient here at GBMC last week, having had minor elective surgery. My surgeon, Dr. John Thompson, is another wonderful example of a phenomenally talented doctor who cares. Everything went very smoothly and I thank all of the individuals who took care of me…It was quite interesting, in fact, as I have been speaking about what we all need to do to better serve our patients, and I got to see firsthand the wonderful care our patients receive every day.
(GBMC’s Foundation is also celebrating Doctors’ Day by recognizing the dedication and good work of physicians – click here for more information about this year’s Doctors’ Day campaign - 

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