It is my honor to represent On the Mark for this exceptionally special occasion. Today is National Doctors’ Day, and I want to take a moment to honor Texas Children’s remarkable team of physicians for their commitment to the patients we serve from all around the globe.
I’ve been at Texas Children’s for almost 25 years and one of the reasons I remain dedicated to this institution is because of my physician colleagues. I have never been a part of a team of doctors who collaborate so effortlessly and seamlessly for the betterment of the children and women who need our expertise and skill. These men and women give their all day after day because caring for people is what they were called to do.
It is a privilege and an honor to do what we do as physicians, and it is in many ways a part of our identity. You have chosen perhaps the most impactful profession that there has ever been or will ever be — providing care to people.
If you’ve never been faced with this situation before, put yourself in the shoes of a parent who is handing their sick child to a doctor. Can you imagine the trust that they’re placing in that team of physicians — in you — to properly care for their child and to do everything in your power to help cure and comfort them?
That trust alone is an honor and it is inspirational.
However, I will be the first to address that as physicians, every triumphant moment and every calling comes with incredibly difficult seasons. The past two years alone as we’ve continued to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, we have faced challenges that I don’t believe we ever thought we’d see in our lifetime. Aside from the physical toll this virus has left on so many families, it has also heightened the difficulty of the sacrifices we make as physicians.
In a field where much of our work revolves around interpersonal interactions, we quickly found that although social distancing and wearing masks ultimately keep us, our patients and their families safe, we’ve unfortunately lost parts of what makes providing medical care so special.
As a physician, the high-five after a child braves something they once thought was scary, the small touch of comfort provided to a family as their child is wheeled into a procedure, and the simplicity of a smile is something I miss the most — and I know you miss it too.
I ask you that in those moments where you’re exhausted, doubting if you can make it in this field another day, please remember why you chose this career. Healthcare has never needed experienced doctors more than today.
Over the course of my career and after many conversations with physician colleagues, I’ve discovered that one of the main reasons doctors choose this profession is because people look to us for care and comfort during the times in their lives when they are most afraid. I truly don’t know that there is any higher calling than this.
In my most difficult moments, I think about the life of service that all of us at Texas Children’s have chosen, service to the most important people in this world — children and women. The courage and dedication that you have all shown through every triumph and every hurdle have been a source of profound inspiration to me and so many others.
I’ve never been prouder to be a doctor or more humbled to work with colleagues like you. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for the families that come to us in their most difficult — and their most joyous — times. From one physician to another, Happy Doctors’ Day.
Larry H. Hollier Jr., MD
Surgeon-In-Chief and Chair of Texas Children’s Department of Surgery