Friday, November 22, 2013

In This Season of Thanks, This is How One Dentist Gives Back to His Community

Here is another guest blog from our client Dr. Don Lurie.

It seems to me that in this season of the year, our thoughts should turn to the ideals and morals of our history, of our parents and grandparents and even of the faith that has united and nourished us.  We all hear the expression ""I want to give back" but it is something that has to be nurtured, reflected upon, and then acted upon.  It must be sincere.  I guess that the sentimentality of this season of the year has given me the desire to share thoughts about this so-called "giving back." 

Last month, I discussed mentoring to both our younger practitioners and even to our patients.  This should be extended to anyone who might think that our experience, knowledge, and professional bearing might give them insight into their future and to help shape their career attitude to enable the practitioner to love his practice, his patients and staff, and to guard against the cynicism of just practicing for the dollar.  It is most difficult in this current climate to have these "noble" feelings and it is quite difficult to find the words to just address them.  I almost want to quote scripture to help me find the words and to share what I feel in my heart.  In my blog titled Mentoring Equals Outreach, I have started to share the ideal of gift giving and of thanks giving.  I have also suggested that this is, if sincere, a great function for marketing of your practice.  But do you know what? It just makes you feel good and that good feeling should be expanded.  As it was handed down to us by someone or at some place, the good that we have done, are doing, and should continue to do (even in retirement)  expresses who we really are and what is dear to our hearts.

A local group of friends and myself have started an outreach to patients who have difficulty getting around.  Their caretakers must spend time taking them to doctor visits, going to the pharmacy or many other mundane daily activities.  The caretakers, who are saints, are usually other elderly family, friends or neighbors who can only do so much and who, in turn, need to have a break.  Some of the doctor visits are just to have a BP, pulse, and other vital signs on an interim basis until their thorough check-up is due with their primary care physician.  These are easy visits for us since it is something that we do on a daily basis in our practice.  These folks welcome us, enjoy our visit, and feel like it is a social hour.  And you are right - it is a social hour of love and togetherness.  After taking vital signs, the doctor is called and, in 99 % of the time, that is all he wanted to know.  The patient is told to keep his normal appointment and the caretaker is told of the request also.  Actually, the caretaker has an hour off (haircut, personal errands) etc…  The group that I am in consists of active practitioners, nurses, retired docs, other health professionals including one EMT person (who gives one full day/week to this endeavor).  We call it a ministry or an outreach program but it so simple, so necessary, and has just been a joy to be part of it. And guess what? We learn from our visits, gain life experience in our conversations, and get more out of the visit than the shut-ins.  We now have increased our group to include non-professional types for things like drug store errands, haircuts, shopping, lunch, or just a plan visit so that the folks can change the scenery.  Our visitation includes seniors, recovering adults, folks home from the hospital, etc...  "There but for the grace of God, go I."

Next week is Thanksgiving.  Let it be a joy to share your love with family, extended family, and all your loved ones.  And when you are saying Grace at this festive meal, start thinking about how you are giving or going to give back.  I seems to me that this is what Thanksgiving is all about.

I would love to hear from you and share your ideas and experiences.  More Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned next time.

Dr.Donald B. Lurie    
Phone:   717-235-0764
Cell:       410-218-2228

No comments: