Mark E. Schweitzer, M.D., dean of the Wayne State University School of Medicine and vice president of Health Affairs for the university, today issued a message of appreciation for faculty physicians to coincide with National Doctors Day.
Read the dean’s message in full below:
Today, March 30, is National Doctors Day, and I wanted to take a moment to recognize and thank all our wonderful faculty physicians.
We ask much of doctors during normal times. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21 pushed the American health care system to a near breaking point, and we are still learning from the crucible this pandemic has forced us into. Wayne State University School of Medicine physicians continue to live up to the finest qualities and expectations, and I know they will come through this even stronger.
Many of our physicians, both full-time and voluntary faculty, faced – and still face – what we can only hope is a once-in-several-lifetimes pandemic, the likes of which we have not seen since the early 20th century. They learned on the job and on their feet how to treat patients with COVID-19. They continued to report for duty, engaging with infected patients repeatedly, despite the fear of the unknown in the early stages of the pandemic.
They saw their hospitals inundated with patients infected with the virus, and all too often witnessed far too many of them succumb, despite their best efforts. We have come to believe that physicians may be impermeable to the tragedies that accompany the calling, but doctors are human beings, and the loss takes its toll.
They did all this while continuing to develop methods to safely instruct and train our students to prevent them from falling behind in their medical education, and so that they, too, could join the ranks of American doctors battling COVID-19.
It’s also important to thank the families of our physicians, who have endured more than most of us during the past year. The pandemic forced many Americans to work from the safety of home, but families that have physician mothers, fathers, wives and husbands saw them go again and again into the proverbial lion’s den to continue their commitment. Those families worried not only that their loved ones who carry an M.D. after their names could become seriously ill while treating patients, but that they might inadvertently bring the virus home to infect their own. I’ve heard many stories about physicians taking added precautions, such as coming home after long and mind-numbing shifts to change clothes in the garage and immediately shower and take other actions to protect their families from COVID-19.
The courage and commitment to medicine, to patient care and to medical education in the past year are nothing short of phenomenal. I could not be prouder to call our faculty physicians my colleagues.
Please join me in thanking the doctors you know and work with, and who continue working to educate our students.
Mark E. Schweitzer, M.D.
Vice President of Health Affairs
Dean, School of Medicine