National Doctors’ Day on March 30 honors helpful heroes for making a career in medicine.
Physicians share their time and talents with patients daily making a lifesaving impact for many.
A handful of Corewell Health physicians were asked what inspired them to practice medicine.
Laurie Seaver, MD, a medical geneticist at Corwell Health’s Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, credits a high school teacher.
“My high school biology teacher encouraged me to pursue science and pre-med curriculum and I never looked back,” she said. “I attended the same university that she had (I think she planned that!) and she attended my medical school graduation/reception.”
Kania McGhee, MD, Medical Director of Quality & Safety in Obstetrics, OB/GYN Residency Faculty, said she always wanted to work with babies.
“Although I am the first physician in my family, I always knew I wanted to be a baby doctor,” she said. “My passion to help patients at some of the most challenging and happy moments of their life is what kept me focused on the goal to become a doctor.”
It seems every doctor has their reason, and many carry personal meaning.
Matthew Sims, MD, PhD, Director of Infectious Diseases Research at Corewell Health’s Beaumont Health, said he grew up around doctors and always wanted to be one himself.
“I always wanted to become a doctor but to be honest I didn’t know what it really meant to be a doctor,” he said. “When I got to my third year of medical schools and started to help take care of patients, I truly realized this was what I wanted to do.”
Chi Braunreiter, MD, a pediatric hematologist at Corewell Health’s Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, said a lifelong commitment to children played a part in her career choice.
“I became a pediatrician so that I could help children achieve their greatest potential,” she said. “Children have so little control of their environment, the people who come in and out of their lives, or the social structures that they live in or will inherit one day.”
Ismael Gonzalez Rangel, MD, pediatric cardiology at Corewell Health’s Beaumont Health, said for him it was all about community.
“To make a difference in the community by solving their problems in a scientific and personal approach meant a lot to me,” he said. “From a young age I knew I wanted to be a physician. The combination of science and an ability to care for, and teach others drew me to the field.”
What sticks with doctors
Patients are at the center of all Corewell Health team members … especially doctors and clinicians.
A few shared examples of a time a patient said or did something that stuck with them.
Dr. Brauneiter said it’s challenging to pinpoint one specific comment.
“What sticks with me the most is when patients talk about their future,” she said. “It can be about school, their careers, a future sibling on the way, summer plans or an upcoming prom. These discussions make me feel that they are looking ahead. The fact that they want to share those visions with me just warms my heart.”
Kate Foster, DO, a pediatric dermatologist with Corewell Health, said it’s sometimes the simple things that stick with her.
“I remember all the hugs, high-fives and fist-bumps I get from my patients,” she said. “That always makes my day!”
Ask Corewell Health doctors what resilience looks like, and you’ll hear a variety of inspiring thoughts.
Dr. Foster said she sees it daily in the patients she cares for.
“It is in the children we care for,” she said. “They serve as an inspiration to me to find joy and laughter even in our most challenging moments.”
Dr. Seaver said resilience is optimism, flexibility and the willingness to change or pivot strategy even if not your first choice.
Jaime L Taylor, DO, Nancy Rambeau Hough Endowed Chair for Adolescent Health, and Director, Adolescent Medicine, Corewell Health’s Beaumont Children’s Hospital, said her meaning of resilience has changed over the past few years.
“For me, the meaning of resilience has shifted from an ability to quickly bounce back and pick up where I left off to a state of persistence, perseverance and pushing through the unpredictable and unplanned,” she said.
And finally, Dr. Braunreiter said it comes in many shapes and sizes but is in every single one of us.
“Resilience is when patients, parents, guardians, family members and healthcare providers work together as a team despite the many challenges they all face,” she said.
Corewell Health has the most amazing physicians! Happy Doctors’ Day!