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Happy Thanksgiving to all those in Emergency Medicine

November 25, 2009

This message was sent out to members of Medical Emergency Professionals (MEP). It is a reminder that there are many good people working tirelessly in health care. As we give thanks for our many blessings may your Thanksgiving be a joyous and safe one.

On Thursday many of us will sit around a table with family or close friends and give thanks. Some of us will be working, doing what members of MEP and selected professions do, taking care of people. In many ways it is a privilege to be working when every one else is hunkering down to enjoy a perfectly prepared turkey with all the fixings. It’s a reminder to me of the uniqueness of what we do every hour of every day. It is our role in medicine to watch over the communities we serve. In some small ways we are the guardians and I prefer to think of us in such a noble role.

We are the Marines of the medical profession. We are the first line of defense of health care. We are ready at a moments notice to respond to the call. Many times the job is less than glamorous. There is not much thrill in draining an abscess (well maybe some) or in caring for your umpteenth case of non-cardiac chest pain. However for that patient who couldn’t find a PCP to take care of his MRSA abscess or the woman who’s Mom died of an MI in her forties we provide care and comfort.

So in the midst of the debate of how to cover the 40 plus million citizens in this country currently uninsured I give thanks to you. Every day you are there picking up a chart, walking into a room and introducing yourself to the next patient with a simple question. “How can I help you today?” That is a powerful statement about the difference between emergency medicine and the rest of the medical profession. Regardless of social class or insurance status we are here to care for you.

At times it is easy to become insensitive to patients who at times are less than thankful for the care they receive. That is an easy and slippery slope to move towards. I prefer to remember and talk about the thank yous that I, as well as many of you, have received over the years for the care we provide. Thank you for standing beside me and helping to care for that next patient.

And by the way who’s bringing the cranberry sauce tomorrow?

Be well,

Angelo Falcone, MD

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