A Well-Deserved Award for My Dad

One of the many things that has always struck me about my father was his disdain for Doctor vanity plates. All my speeding tickets and run-ins with the cops might have been somewhat easier had it been for a little ‘MD’ sign on the license plate. But my Dad was not that kind of doctor. He was never in it for the glory or the name or even the money. He had the old-fashioned doctor’s aspiration only to help and comfort the sick. Next month he will be honored by St. Mary’s Hospital with their “Lifetime Award for Excellence” – and it couldn’t go to a more deserving person.

It’s long over-due, as my Dad was one of the hardest-working and most dedicated doctors right up until his retirement a couple of years ago. Whatever shreds of humility and honor I have were instilled in me by his example. Any altruistic notion of goodness that resides in me was mostly his doing. He never complained about being awoken at 3 in the morning for an emergency call, or missing out on vacation days – his family did, but he didn’t. It was his vocation and calling, and the community of patients loved him for it. They saw a side of him that his two unruly boys didn’t always grasp, though as I grew up I understood more and more.

Recently, he stepped into a new role as Grandfather (or “Lolo”) to his twin grandchildren, and he might be just as good as that as he was at being an anesthesiologist. Congratulations to one of the most noble men I’ve had the privilege to know. (And I promise to wear something respectable to the Awards Dinner.)

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