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National Doctors' Day

Today is National Doctors’ Day.

I wanted to take a second and thank you all for your heroic contributions – not just to the current pandemic, but to the field of medicine as a whole.

I know our profession is under enormous stress. We have to cope with patients that are not only potentially sick with a new disease, but also a dis-ease with life. A stress on their souls.

As doctors, we are an important part of a patient’s recovery. We work to diagnose their conditions and seek paths to recovery. As Dr. Martin Henry Fischer once said, “our profession is the only one which works unceasingly to annihilate itself.”

It can seem slightly strange during times like these – a global pandemic causing sickness and unease throughout the world – to acknowledge one of the many “national” days that come seemingly out of nowhere. A pat on the back seems at odds with the tone of the room nation.

But as we grapple with the reality that hospitals and physicians’ offices across the world are full of patients in need, in critical care, and turning to us for hope, we must allow ourselves to step back and take a moment to appreciate the enormity of the responsibility of our positions. To allow ourselves to feel good about the contributions we make to the world.

Certainly, every individual player responding to the challenges of COVID-19 deserves tremendous celebration. Any person helping keep hospitals open, clean, sanitized, safe, and patients cared for safe is a hero, deserving of a level of gratitude beyond our ability to properly convey.

But as one doctor to another, I wanted to thank you. I want to thank you for your expertise. Your mentorship to others. Your collaboration with your medical teams. You’re an important part of West Virginia’s ability to recover from this pandemic, and to improve the quality of life for so many.

I hope that in the brief respite you may have – a quiet moment in a break room, a quiet day off at home with the family, a walk with the dog feeling the warmth of the spring sun – that you can relax, and disconnect.

Whether you are one of our physicians at a WVU Medicine hospital, or a physician across West Virginia, thank you. If your loved one or family member is a doctor, thank them.

Thank you for your compassionate, caring service to our people. Your contributions are nothing short of heroic. Please remember to thank the many others around you who work to make our jobs easier. As Mountaineers, we will get through this together.