A Simple Act of Kindness

Premier Pulse     October 2017

By Patrick Larreategui, D.O., FACOS, president, medical staff, Upper Valley Medical Center

The patient was critically ill in the intensive care unit. After reviewing his labs and X-rays I entered his room. His wife was sitting by his bedside, as she had been since his admission five days earlier. I assessed all of his lines, tubes, and examined him. After completing my exam, I updated her regarding his condition. The prognosis was not good. She thanked me for taking care of him. As I turned to leave, she said to thank the other doctor, too. To whom was she referring, I asked. She said that a doctor in scrubs bought her breakfast this morning in the cafeteria. She did not remember his name but was moved by the gesture.

After some investigation, I found out that this doctorP-W-COM72821_Act-of-Kindness_640x360 is an anesthesiologist who routinely buys meals for patient families several times per month. He does not seek recognition or accolades. He is not trying to improve his patient satisfaction scores. He does it because he is a kind and caring person. Simple acts of kindness such as this occur at Upper Valley Medical Center and throughout our system every day. They are not measured by metrics but make a huge impact on everyone they touch. 

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