A day to honor our doctors

Published 9:11 am Wednesday, March 30, 2016

by Kim Marks

It’s why we pause on Doctors’ Day each year to thank the men and women who made the decision to travel down that long road to becoming a physician. We at Southampton Memorial Hospital (SMH) are grateful for the nearly 100 physicians who work in our hospital, offices and clinics.

We celebrate and honor their commitment to their field, their patients and their community. Be it a primary care doctor fresh out of residency, or a veteran surgeon who continues to hone skills by adopting the latest technology, we thank you.

It is so easy to marvel at the almost miraculous life-saving tools that medicine employs. And just as easy to become frustrated with medicine when chronic disease, terminal illness and horrific accidents win the battle over the doctor’s most drastic life-saving measures.

It is too easy to forget that the physician – the healer, the comforter, the saver of lives – is a human. The same doctor who was triumphant in making a diagnosis in a perplexing case has to deliver the grim prognosis to the patient and his family.

The pediatrician who is treating a severely injured or ill child has to go home to tuck in her own little ones.

The longtime family doctor who has watched a patient evolve from a vibrant and active lifestyle to an aging, weakened state may be facing the same dilemma with his own elderly parent.

On March 30 we take time to thank our doctors – newcomer and veteran, primary care and specialist — for their unwavering care to the thousands of lives we at SMH touch each year.

We acknowledge their lives outside the hospital though we realize that their chosen career path often makes it difficult to separate the two worlds. We appreciate the obstetrician who ventures out in the middle of the night to bring a new life into this world. We thank the emergency room physicians and hospitalists for the personal sacrifices they make by staffing our facilities on weekends and holidays. We are grateful to those doctors who answer emergency calls from our hospital staff and patients while out for dinner with their spouses or during a child’s birthday party.

The physicians who serve our hospital and numerous clinics all have their own stories to tell, tales of heroic measures inside our walls and in their community. They are all part of the SMH family of physicians who work with us and the other members of our health care team of professionals to provide our region with outstanding medical care.

We are fortunate to have these men and women. Today we acknowledge their contributions, sacrifices, skills and unwavering concern for our community.

Kim Marks is the Chief Executive Officer of Southampton Memorial Hospital. Southampton Memorial Hospital (SMH) is a 219-bed, acute and long-term care facility located at 100 Fairview Drive in Franklin, VA. With a medical staff of nearly 100 physicians, SMH serves the residents of western Tidewater. For more information about SMH and the services it provides, please visit SMHfranklin.com.