A day to honor our physicians

Colleagues and patients give thanks to our talented physicians

(From left) Timothy Flynn, M.D., FACS, UF College of Medicine senior associate dean for clinical affairs and UF Health Shands chief medical officer; Paul L. Crispen, M.D., UF COM assistant professor, Multi-D Urologic Oncology Clinic director and SUO Fellowship Program director; and Thomas F. Stringer, M.D., FACS, UF COM department of urology interim chairman and UF Health Urology Clinic medical director.

Do you remember a time when a family member, friend or co-worker offered a word of thanks? Perhaps you received a bouquet of flowers or your favorite meal. In recognition of Doctors’ Day, consider this feature story our thank-you card to our talented physicians and housestaff.

UF Health leaders often receive letters from patients thanking their medical team for the outstanding care they received. Paul Crispen, M.D., UF College of Medicine urologist, was named in one such letter. In an email with the subject, “We made the right decision,” a patient’s family detailed the care this patient received during a recent stay. They thanked the medical team of the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital 8 East Adult Oncology Unit; including Long Dang, M.D., Ph.D., UF Health College of Medicine oncologist, and numerous support teams.

“It is the excellent medical, nursing and support services care we received during our first stay on 8 East that has compelled me to write this letter,” wrote the patient’s mother. “Our stay was a joyful reminder that kindness is a crucial element to expert medical care. The positive attitude of 8 East anchored my son through the uncertainty, pain and fear during his stay. Thank you all for shining your light on my family.”

Crispen noted that this patient story highlighted the comprehensive care offered at UF Health. As part of a multidisciplinary team, patients are able to meet with Crispen and other specialists during a single visit, enhancing the collaboration between specialties.

“UF Health has afforded me the opportunity to provide comprehensive cancer care in an extremely collegial and collaborative setting,” he said. “It would be impossible for me to provide this level of patient care and engage in my research interests without the continuous support from all of my colleagues throughout UF Health.”

Crispen’s patient focus and research interests are complementary. His current research explores how to improve treatment selection for patients presented with multiple options, such as those diagnosed with small renal tumors.

“I feel that by understanding the biology of their cancer, patients will have greater insight on how treatment may impact their lives and improve treatment selection,” he said.

This level of detail and attention is an example of the exemplary care our physicians and their teams offer, from research to practice.

We thank each of you for your sharing your medical expertise and superior care with our staff and most importantly, our patients.

“Every month, I receive numerous letters from patients who appreciate the care and competence of our physicians at UF Health. Being a physician is a unique privilege. We have the opportunity to be involved in peoples’ lives and to impact people in a way no other profession can. We should take great joy in that work.

While the work often involves long hours and stressful days, we are especially fortunate that our work at UF Health involves not only direct patient care, but also training the next generation of physicians and advancing science.

While your days may be long and difficult, think about why you are in medicine — why you are in an academic health center. On this Doctors’ Day, think about the impact you have on patients and the opportunity you have to work with other leaders and experts in their respective fields.

On a personal note, thanks to each of you for your work and for the care and service you provide every day here at UF Health. Happy Doctors’ Day.”

Timothy Flynn, M.D., FACS, UF College of Medicine senior associate dean for clinical affairs and UF Health Shands chief medical officer

“Collaborating with attending physicians, fellows, residents, interns and medical students provides a unique learning opportunity and the ability to contribute to the health and well-being of complex and challenging patients. I have worked with physicians who have demonstrated expert knowledge, skill and a genuine, compassionate bedside manner.

Recently, I overheard a resident talking with a medical student who just witnessed the death of a young patient she had cared for over a number of weeks. I listened as he shared his own experiences, answered her questions and — most importantly — let her process this event that will be part of her future as a physician. This reaffirmed my choice to work in a setting with physicians at all levels who are committed to the same high quality of care and a team approach.

My nursing career began in oncology in an academic system, and I am fortunate I have spent the last 30-plus years between two outstanding academic health care systems. This career choice has afforded me the opportunity to work side by side with many physician leaders and be part of outstanding teams.”

Helen Welsh, M.S.N., R.N., UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital 8 East Adult Oncology Unit nurse manager

First observed more than 80 years ago by several north Georgia physicians’ wives who hosted a luncheon,
Doctors’ Day is a nationally recognized observance to honor our community’s medical staff and thank them for the care they provide.

We will honor our physicians by hosting a Doctors’ Day breakfast and luncheon. Please wear red on Monday, March 30 to celebrate our talented physicians at UF Health.