We occasionally have pre-med college types shadow us in the ED, when they’re trying to decide if medicine is what they want to pursue.  I tell them to do something else, usually real estate, but it’s meant good naturedly (but they should consider it).

I recently had a nice young person follow me around for several hours.  He was quiet, didn’t ask many questions, well mannered, etc.  After about five hours he departed, and I thought no more about him.  Then I got the card; a thank-you note which I may frame and put on my I Love Me wall:


Yes, I removed the names.

That’s how to write a thank you note to make even a doctor blush.  Wow.


I’m going to add him to my Christmas Card list, I think.


  1. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find a doc to shadow. Kudos to you and the premed.

  2. On that same note, do you ever get thank you notes from patients?

    My husband and I differ on the idea of sending the three doctors that I’ve spent a lot of time with this year as a patient, a Christmas Card/Thank You note. To me, it seems a bit much every time i’m in their office, but a handwritten note at the holidays for all their effort seems quite appropriate.

    When they finally figure out the answer, I’ll knit them all socks. :)

  3. Our ED gets lots of thank-you cards and letters, and they’re put up in the staff break room; there’s a cork board pretty much covered with them. The docs usually don’t get individual letters (though it’s not unheard of, we all have a few persoanl thank yous).

    They’re not expected, which makes them all the more appreciated. There aren’t any socks on the board, by the way.

  4. I got an individual card recently from a family who was finally taking their first baby home. They are actually somewhat of celebrities, although not necessarily the type that everybody would know – but definitely celebrities. They wrote cards for those who had spent a lot of time taking care of their son that they had come particularly close to – and they even brought in a basket of all sorts of different candles and things for everybody – it was very sweet. We also post our thankyou notes and pictures that people send. Always makes me feel warm and fuzzy. :)

    That’s a really nice note – isn’t it amazing that while we may not think much of a certain interaction or event, sometimes we make lasting impressions on others in those moments. I recently emailed my former neuro (who was also my mentor and friend once we got to know each other), and I shared with him an experience from when we first met. Doubt he ever thought of it again, but it has been a story that my family and I have talked about many times over the last 6 years.

    Reminds me of one of my favorite sayings…”To the world, you may be just one person, but to one person, you may be the world.” :)

    Take care!
    Carrie :)

  5. That most definitely gets a place of honor on your “I Love Me” wall! : D

    We have a lot of pre-med students that both shadow the doctor and act like volunteers/runners for the department.

    We love students at my hospital, and we really appreciate having them. We’re always sad when their rotation is over…..

    And we have not only the “thank you” board, but the patient satisfaction comments are posted on another board.

    One poor patient was in the ER for three hours from the start to finish for their broken leg, and was darned tootin’ we’d know how unhappy she was.

    Poor thing. Should have written her and let her know that at Big Teaching Facility she’d still be in the waiting room…..two weeks later! : D

  6. You can tell it was from a med student…the handwriting is legible.

    As a rather demanding patient myself (I have several chronic illnesses) I always bring my Doctors snacks when I see them – homemade cookies, bread, biscotti, or a starbucks card because they work so hard for me and give so much of their personal time. You medical professionals are so underappreciated. There should really be a Doctor’s Day/ Medical Professional Day- like secretary’s day.

    So here I am to thank you for dedicating your life to healing others, even those that intentionally mess themselves up – you are truly a credit to humanity. Your blog is pretty good too.

  7. There is a “National Doctor’s Day”, it’s March 30th.

  8. I got the Press-Ganey survey for my baby’s recent hospital stay in the mail today. I haven’t opened it yet, but everyone except the dietary staff will get a glowing review. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why they sent my breastfed 5 month old a ‘clear liquid diet’ tray at every meal. The first time, I thought it was funny and told them he’s a baby, he can’t drink beef broth or iced tea and he doesn’t eat jello or popsicles. I know that clear liquid diet is standard orders for dehydrated peds patients and thought that someone just hadn’t noticed that he was an infant because he was a new admit. Every time after that, I wondered if they couldn’t read his age or just hadn’t bothered. It was a waste of money and time.

  9. As both a patient and healthcare worker, I do send or personally deliver a basket of my primary doc’s and his family’s favorite fruits to the office from the local Ag College. It may be worth noting we have had Dr. C as our primary doc and colleague for over 20 years. This guy goes way out of his way for us and his other patients, even after 40+ years of practice.

    Along with the fruit is a handwritten note to tell him just how special he is to our family and how much I appreciate him and everything he’s done for us this year. We know from his kids (who are also in healthcare,) that he truly appreciates his “favorite basket” and it gives us joy to know how much it means to him.