It’s been a very cold few days for us here in the north east. The snow came down heavily with winds blowing and after 24 hrs we had icy grounds.

Today the sun is shining and the snow has been pushed aside by snow blowers, shovels and snow plows, leaving behind mini mountains of hardened snow along the sides of roads, sidewalks and driveways.

And despite the cold there is a beauty to it all.

For those of us that have a roof over our heads, warm clothes on our backs, and food to eat, we know we are truly blessed.

I know tomorrow is not guaranteed and that there are many more obstacles coming up this year, but for the moment, on this bitter cold yet sunny morning, I reflect on the good things and potential great opportunities this year has in store for all of us.

Wishing you and yours safety and health.


It’s the week of Thanksgiving.

The one holiday that unites almost everyone in the United States (for those who do not know the history, it is disturbing). It has come to be a celebration of friends, family and loved ones for things that went right this past year.

Usually people gather together and have a meal with one another and say what they are thankful for. Regardless of religion, political affiliation, ethnicity, background, etc, they gather and give thanks.

Some would have you believe that there is nothing for which to be thankful.

Many have lost loved ones, are facing burnout, are unemployed, have lost their homes, and some have nothing to eat.

And so we pray for those who have gone, reach out to those in distress, share what we have with those who are in need, actively search for opportunities for those who need a hand, and support organizations who are providing shelter and food for those who are in a tough spot at the moment.

“There, but for the grace of God, go I” is the saying.

So despite all that went wrong in the past 12 months, I am extremely grateful for the things that went well.

And I remain ever optimistic about the future and am grateful there are many people out there working to make everyone healthy, safe and secure.

Happy Thanksgiving.

My Brother’s Keeper

I have time for reflecting as I await my flight home from a global health trip after almost two years of virtual collaborations. The work was strenuous but absolutely fulfilling.

A number of people ask why I created and participate in global health training and programs and I explain that global health contributes to global security. A nation with individuals who are sick and unhealthy are usually unable to contribute fully to the economy of their local communities. When the local community suffers, it eventually affects the regions and then their nation. T

his can lead to communities disenfranchised with their governments which can in turn lead to dysfunction and political unrest.

Make no mistake, if one country is having issues with regards to their security, it will eventually affect other countries. Misery loves company.

The other reason I believe in global health programs is that they allow one to collaborate and create innovative solutions to problems that each participant is having at their own site. Learning from resource poor nations on how best to provide medical care in remote locations or areas with decreased access due to socioeconomic factors helps inform what we do in the United States for similar issues in our rural and access deficient urban areas.

I am eager to share with the folks back home that the areas we served in the past 3 days had a greater than 90% vaccination rate against Covid. And many people continue to use the other preventive measures of masking, hand hygiene and social distancing.

It is not enough for us to just care for “our own”. What the pandemic has magnified for us is that health issues affecting one country eventually affects other countries. So caring for our patients locally, nationally and internationally helps protect our economy and our security.

We need to be our brother’s keeper.

And vice versa.

Be Careful What You Wish For

Like many of you, I have worked hard to reach certain goals in my life and in my career. Figuring out what steps needed to be taken and then strategizing on how to implement each step.

There have been many roadblocks but also a few easy paths along the way. Earnestly pursuing it despite the naysayers and extremely grateful for the cheerleaders and supporters.

And then, after all is said and done, the goal is right there front and center.

And as you accomplish it, you find yourself turned around and face a new set of rules and regulations because you now need to “level up” (you can tell I have a few gamers in my home).

And then you start again.

New goals, new steps, new strategies (and yes some old ones as well).

And as you navigate this new territory you hear a small voice in your head “be careful what you wish for”.

But I’ll say this.

I’d rather dream big than have no dreams at all.

I’d rather have grand wishes than to wish small.

So for all of you out there- dream big, wish grand.

That’s how we change the world.

Hurry Up and Wait

As the summer has unfolded and the restrictions have loosened with regards to masking and social distancing, a number of people have resumed travel.

Many are rushing to book flights to destinations anywhere but where they are currently located. Some brave enough to venture overseas. Trying to catch the window of when both their home country and state are in alignment with the destination country access policies.

But first, pull out and dust off that passport. And for a few, the original excitement gives way to dismay in finding out that over the past 18 months passports have expired. No worry, you may say. Just get it renewed. Maybe expedited.

Ah. Not so easy.

It appears there is a delay as more and more people purchase international tickets. Regular passports that used to take 1-2 months now take 3-4 months. Expedited has moved from 2-4 weeks to 6-8 weeks.

Best move that flight further out or go domestic.

Ah domestic flights.

Booking your flight, hotel, ground transportation.

Wake up early to get to the airport on time so as to check in your baggages and get to the gate on time.

You’ve factored in the security checkpoints, anything new regarding Covid, you have this under control.

And then your phone app alerts you that your flight is delayed.

No problem. You have the airline app and can quickly change flights. But wait- it is not showing the alternative flight seating and requires you to confirm a change sight unseen.

Ok, you will not panic.

You call the contact number to quickly resolve this with an agent.

And are placed on hold as “sorry for the wait as we are experiencing a higher than usual volume of calls…”

One hour and eight minutes later (yes this is a true story) the agent says that you will be redirected to another flight that has a 12 hr layover or you can try again tomorrow.


Meanwhile you were smart enough to call on your way to the airport and are now on line to check in. The agent at the desk wishes you luck.

Finding no other choice or flight available- you concede.

Boarding pass in hand you walk to security.

And here staff are yelling at the top of their voices at all the passengers to “Remove your shoes and place electronics in separate bins!” For those who inadvertently forgot or couldn’t understand the ruckus, a staff member is more than willing to carry your bin above their head shouting and shaming “Who’s bag is this?! Who left their electronic device in their bag?! Take it out and put it in a separate bin!!!”


Customer service at its finest.

And so you emerge from this area and go to your seating area or the lounge (which is already crowded).

And you wait.

Because your flight has been delayed yet again.

But on the bright side, now your layover will only be 10 hours.

Breathe in, breathe out. (Through your mask of course).

This is a moment to reflect and be grateful for the opportunity to travel by air when a year ago it was a distant hope.

Hand sanitizer, mask and watchful checking of the distance between you and others…ok…you are good.

And so you wait.

But it will be worth it in the end.

You hope.

Six Months

As a physician I am aware that there are many people out there in the world who have life altering conditions that require regular check-ups to ensure their stability.

Recently I have had to take a closer look at their perspective.

What is it like to anticipate your next appointment where you may or may not get “good news”? Being told that you are still ok or that they have discovered something new.

When you get the all clear – you breathe out a sigh of relief – then prepare for the next six months.

But if you get the “bad news” – something a bit concerning in the scan, labs, exam. Another sigh. But of acceptance, maybe, or regret. The knowledge that you may need to undergo another round of tests and treatment or that this is now your final six months.

Regardless of the news, you need to live each day to the fullest.

Plan for 5-10 years but deal with them in 6 month segments.

Cherish every day.

Continue to live your purpose.

And those of us in healthcare- try to remember this unique perspective.

Here’s to your next six months.

Something New

A lot of things are changing for me and many others this month of June.

We have resident physicians graduating and going on to become independent doctors.

Some people are moving on to new job positions, offices, careers, workplaces, or even retirement.

The weather, though inconsistent, does feel mainly like summer and with it the optimism of preparing for something new.

Make no mistake.

Obstacles are still popping up from time to time.

Fires still have to be put out.

But with it all, I feel extremely positive.

Grateful for what has been accomplished in the past. Proud of the lives touched. Warmed by the people who have allowed me in their circle at different phases of my life.

I’m sitting here in my home.

Preparing to go to work.

And I am excited about the future which is abstract, unpredictable and at times downright scary.

Yet I embrace the new.

Bring it on.


Today is a beautiful day for those living in my part of the NorthEast. Just stepping outside makes me feel happy. It’s Sunday and there is hope for the upcoming week.

I will, however, concede that there are so many things I have to take care of. Fires to put out. Conversations to have. Strategies to put into place. With limited time and resources.

This is not a new situation that I find myself in. I am sure there are many of you out there with similar feelings and agendas that need tending.

So as I feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the cool breeze across my skin, I try not to stress too much about it all.

Yes, today I made it to the morning virtual session.

And I logged on to virtually cheer for the KSOD team competing this weekend.

Now I’m heading out for a telemedicine session followed by a Hospice & Palliative Medicine session.

Then will be home to prepare for the upcoming week which requires addressing student, resident, faculty, leadership, administrator, patient, community, state, national and global issues.

And tonight will hopefully have one of my favorite meals – sushi/sashimi – for dinner.

But for now.

I am enjoying the warmth of the sun on my face and the cool breeze on my skin.

Enjoy your moments.

Lessons Learned

I won’t lie.

This past week has been trying.

And that’s saying something in a time where everyone has been under stress for over a year.

I guess it is because there has been a baseline level of anxiety and apprehension that we have all had to deal with during this period. So the added new issues can make for the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

There was a point this week when I wondered if all of the effort I was putting into getting a project underway, despite numerous barriers, was really worth it.

And then I got a call from someone else who was struggling, and I talked them through it.

And a close friend sent me a message that they were having a bad day and I gave them words of encouragement.

And a family member had an issue and I worked with them to create a solution.

At the end of each encounter, I forgot my problems and was glad that I was able to help them navigate their difficulties to create an action plan for moving forward.

So, as I sit here on this Sunday morning (with MaryMary playing “Thankful” in the background) I remember that my obstacles are just an opportunity to pause and rethink, reassess and redo.

Every challenge is an opportunity to learn.

And I am a lifelong learner.

Good Life

It’s Saturday morning. I have my list of errands to run and assignments to complete. In the background I have music playing on a random rotation, care of Pandora. (Helps ensure I am in a good frame of mind).

Morning thank you to God. Done.

Quick text chat with my mom and sibs. Done.

Half hour exercise then shower and dress up. Done.

Decaf coffee and munchkins (weekends are my cheat time- do not judge). Done.

Now sitting at my work station at home sorting out some assignments to handle before I get in the car.

And then OneRepublic’s song “Good Life” plays.

And I smile.

Because, with all the drama around me – all in all I have a good life.

Yes my college kids have decided to extend their stay at home for a week (virtual classes) while I continue to pay for dorms and apartments.

And they are emptying my fridge at an alarming rate.

But I am grateful they are safe and healthy and that I can catch a glimpse of them throughout the day/night (when they emerge from their rooms).

Yes, I have work projects for the upcoming week, but currently I am enjoying the creativity I get to express doing so.

Yes, there are some major obstacles and things that have almost blindsided me in the past week, but I have been able to adjust and develop new strategies to address them.

I am still here.

I am still inspired to make a difference.

And I am able to smile.

“Oh, this has gotta be the good life,

This has gotta be the good life,

This could really be a good life,

Good life”

Hoping each of you get a chance to smile this weekend.