Two Physicians Give Thanks


Editors Note: Our columnists, Linda M. Girgis and Doctor Curmudgeon, have teamed up to give thanks for their professions.  Grab a hankie and enjoy. 


The hardest task…
To stop…
Put our mental brakes on…
Let them screech…
And think…
About being thankful.
A much easier task is whining, complaining, and grumbling.
It is so easy to grouse

About people whom we feel are rude, and treat us with ill will,
About our aches and pains,
About the lack of appreciation we have,
About our finances,
About those who appear to have more than we.

But do these things really matter?

Isn’t it healthier and happier to focus…

On the family members who are loving,
On the friends who are always there,
On those who gave us compassion when we needed it the most,
On helping hands that were there when we reached for their firm grip,
On teachers who patiently gave us their wisdom and sense of integrity,
On those who showed us loyalty?

In this season of giving thanks, it is so easy to get lost as a doctor in all the changes going on in the healthcare landscape. It is easy to feel frustration with demanding patients and  with patients we can’t cure. However, being a doctor is still one of the noblest careers around, and we are deeply thankful for this opportunity. We came to know so many people, treated the homeless and the rich alike, stayed up all night with the sick and dying. We have witnessed the very first breaths a baby has taken in this world — and witnessed the last words another will ever utter as he/she passes into the next. We are so thankful for this glimpse into humanity and the chance to help alleviate suffering.

We are thankful for all those patients who endure pain, novel treatments, fear — some knowing that they are never going to get better.

We are thankful for all the innovation happening in medicine — and hope one day we can cure everyone.

We are so thankful for our colleagues who know what we are going through — and help us carry our load.

And we, the doctors of the Sermo community, are most thankful for this place that is a second home to so many. We are thankful for all the great doctors in the community who help us solve cases and just listen when we need to vent. We are thankful for all the friends we have made inside.  There is no other on-line community that fosters such deep friendships.

We are thankful for the leadership of the community and the vision they have for the future. We are thankful for their assistance and care — and sometimes just stepping back when we need room to soar. Without Sermo, we would be lost in the sea of medical chaos, islands all alone. Sermo truly transformed our lives like nothing else in medicine.
Thank you to all who are reading this and follow the Sermo blog. We would like to wish everyone a truly blessed holiday.

With love and wishes for lots of chocolate,

Doctor Curmudgeon and Dr. Linda


diane1Doctor Curmudgeon is Diane Batshaw Eisman MD, FAAFP, a Family Physician, writer, voiceover artist, and medical educator. It was in the Neolithic Era that the doctor became renowned for expertise in Trephination. After so much time in practice, Doctor Curmudgeon is now cranky and has rightfully earned the honorific of “Curmudgeon.”

Doctor Curmudgeon has no idea of what will appear in this space. It depends on the Good Doctor’s mood and whatever shamans and doctors are channeled at the moment.

As a curmudgeon, I may stray from what I observe happening in medicine and slink into other areas. But that is the prerogative of a Curmudgeon.  Please check out my first book, “No Such Agency.”


credit: Linda Girgis, MD

Dr. Linda Girgis MD, FAAFP is a family physician in South River, New Jersey. She has been in private practice since 2001. She holds board certification from the American Board of Family Medicine and is affiliated with St. Peter’s University Hospital and Raritan Bay Hospital. She teaches medical students and residents from Drexel University, UMDNJ, and other institutions.  Dr. Girgis earned her medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine. She completed her internship and residency at Sacred Heart Hospital, through Temple University.  She has appeared in US News and on NBC Nightly News.

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