~ Dr. Linda Girgis
The holidays are rapidly approaching and it seems everyone, from the big box stores to the mom & pop hardware store are getting ready. Over the holiday season, everyone wants to spend time with their families…or at the very least, enjoy some time away from work.
I remember hammering out the holiday schedule when I worked in a group practice – which holidays would I be off and which would be on-call? More times than not, the answer would be “on-call”, and even when one does receive the holiday off, chances are some time will still be spent caring for patients. This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to give thanks for doctors, nurses, and all in the medical profession.
As we gather with our loved ones and deep dive into that turkey, remember there is a doctor standing by in the ER ready to help if you fall victim to food poisoning from under-cooked turkey. Or if, in your post-meal family football game, you sprain an ankle, you will have an entire healthcare network available to you, allowing you to make your Black Friday shopping plans. While Walmart Supercenter may have reduced their hours, you can still show up in the Emergency Room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and be attended to.
If you are so unfortunate to have a loved one hospitalized over the holidays, they will be taken care of by the healthcare team the same as any other day. Nurses and techs will be there, delivering the same excellent care they do every other day of the year. Doctors will still make their rounds to see their patients. Pharmacists will be there, making sure they receive the correct medications.
I encourage you to slow down this year. Take a breath and remember the things that we are thankful for. It is easy to get caught up in the holiday rush and forget the things that are important in life. Family, friends, shelter, safety, education, a job, good health…the list can go on and on. This year, I ask, that you spend a few moments remembering those who help keep you healthy.
I am personally thankful for all the doctors who will be working over the holidays so the rest of us can have some time off. I am grateful for all the nurses, technicians, and everyone else in the medical field who keep the doors of the EDs and hospitals open.
I am also thankful that I have been given the opportunity to be a doctor and practice what I consider one of the best careers in the world. It is truly a blessing to have my patients entrust me to help them make their medical decisions and care for their health.
And lastly, a special thanks to SERMO for bringing us all together and being that second home that many doctors need these days.
Happy holidays to all!
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 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 where she was recognized as intern of the year. She is a blogger for Physician’s Weekly and MedicalPractice Insider as well as a guest columnist for Medcity News and HIT Outcomes. She has had articles published in several other media outlets. She has authored the books, “Inside Our Broken Healthcare System” and “The War on Doctors”. She has been interviewed in US News and on NBC Nightly News.