A Day to Honor Our Doctors

DoctorImage via Pixabay
Op-Ed by Rich Newell, CEO of Phoenixville and Pottstown Hospitals

Health care is always changing, due to scientific breakthroughs, technological advancements, government regulation and reform. For the last three years, the unexpected changes and surprises from the COVID pandemic continue to present new challenges. But there is one constant: physicians still shoulder the ultimate responsibility for a patient’s care whether it be in the emergency room, on the operating table, or in a clinic. From the days of Hippocrates, doctors held the fate of their fellow human beings in their hands – and certainly in their hearts.

It is 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. At both Phoenixville Hospital and Pottstown Hospital we are grateful for the over 500 physicians who work in our hospitals, offices, and clinics. We celebrate and honor their commitment to their field, their patients, and our community.

It is so easy to marvel at the almost miraculous life-saving tools 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 the physician – the healer, the comforter, the saver of lives – is a human. The same doctor who was successful in working through a difficult differential diagnosis in a challenging case, then has to turnaround and deliver the grim prognosis to the patient and his family.

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 lives at Phoenixville Hospital and Pottstown Hospital touched each year.

We acknowledge their lives outside the hospital though we realize their chosen career path often makes it difficult to separate the two worlds. We appreciate the physician 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 staffs and patients while out for dinner with their spouses or during a family gathering.

The physicians who serve our hospitals, physician offices and clinics all have their own stories to tell, tales of heroic measures inside our walls and in their community. They are all part of our two hospitals’ families of physicians who collaborate with us and the other members of our health care team of professionals. They ensure the outstanding medical care for all our patients.

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

Rich Newell, President & CEO
Phoenixville and Pottstown Hospitals

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