BANGOR – Doctors prevent, diagnose, and treat illness, help bring new life into the world, and treat patients and families with respect and caring in life’s final moments. But the role doctors play in improving health extends beyond hospital walls and into the community, where they use their time and skills to give back. On Monday, March 30, EMMC is recognizing National Doctors’ Day by celebrating its physicians’ role in the community, both in Maine and beyond.
“EMMC’s doctors provide care abroad, contribute financially to important causes in the community, participate in local service organizations, and much more,” says James Raczek, MD, FAAFP, senior vice president and chief medical officer. “They find time for these activities while continuing to focus on what they do every day: provide excellent care for people from throughout the region, including patients who have very complex medical needs and the disadvantaged.”
Dozens of physicians on EMMC’s active medical staff have participated in medical missions abroad for little or no pay in recent years. Their trips have helped bring needed services to areas that don’t have enough doctors and that lack a modern healthcare infrastructure. Their destinations have included Nicaragua, India, Honduras, and several counties in Africa.
One physician, James VanKirk, MD, FACP, medical director, Supportive Care, was recently recognized with EMMC’s highest leadership honor for using the funds he earned by providing care for a month in St. Anthony’s, Newfoundland to start an endowment at the University of Vermont that provides medical residents with scholarships for training and education.
“EMMC’s doctors have also demonstrated their commitment to ensuring our region has access to modern healthcare services for decades to come by supporting the hospital’s Modernization Project,” adds Dr. Raczek. “To date, physicians have contributed more than $1.3 million.”
National Doctors’ Day began in 1933 and has been recognized on March 30 every year since then. This year, EMMC Doctors’ Day celebration is being extended and will include activities every day of the week.
“This is a week to celebrate all of the great work our physicians do,” says Dr. Raczek. “From serving their patients with exceptional skill and compassion to getting involved in the community, EMMC doctors truly are making a difference every day.”