American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Acts of Kindness and Reflecting

Christopher DuCoin, MDI had a rough past three weeks. We have three kids; they all got sick, my wife was ill, and then the inevitable happened, I got sick. It was a head cold, and the usual thing happened. I (we) did what we usually do, powered through work. Then something odd happened, I went down, became febrile, had abdominal pain (10/10), and I went from the usual sickness to genuinely ill. It turns out I had a little more than the common cold, but it was amazing, the acts of kindness. I found myself immediately getting fantastic care, from radiology to medical and surgical input. I was put on some pretty heavy antibiotics and am fine now. But there was a moment when I was not. It gave me time to reflect on life, purpose, and the impact we make as physicians. It also allowed me to reflect on what we can do for each other; use our professional courtesy and compassion, and hold ourselves to a higher standard when we put on a white coat and feel the wisdom and strength of the thousands of years of healers who have come before us. We have a fantastic profession; what a gift it is to heal the sick, provide compassion for the dying, and have work with a purpose.

I am grateful for those who cared for me while ill and the opportunity to care for others. So please, in a time of difficulty globally, let us not ignore the bad, but let us use the opportunity to highlight the good.

"Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity." — Hippocrates

Christopher DuCoin, MD, FACS
Chair, YFA Communications Workgroup