Late in my first year of college, my mum was diagnosed with an acute and rapidly progressing malignant melanoma. Just six months later, she took her last breath in her bed at home with my brother by her side. An hour earlier, I had left her apartment to pick up my sister from the airport and, unfortunately, missed my mother’s last few conscious minutes on earth. I still find myself trying to speak the words, “I love you, Mum. Goodbye.”

Indeed, those worldly, life-changing experiences were the impetus for my desire to become a physician. I have since been dedicated to healing and changing the lives of others through medicine. It is a commitment I share with all of you. As we celebrate Doctors’ Day and all our physicians and advanced practice providers, I want to thank you for caring deeply for each other, our patients and our communities. The work is never easy, and you all make incredible sacrifices; our nation would not have survived the COVID-19 pandemic without you, and we will never forget that. This day, and every day, I encourage you to take a few minutes to reflect on all that you have done and continue to do to make the world a healthier place.

As I think about my healthcare journey, I have learned many lessons and been fortunate to work alongside exemplary people — including all of you. I want to share what inspires me in the joy of practicing medicine and as your teammate and invite you to do the same.

In my early days, I was focused on healing the spirit and wanted to become a rabbi like my dad. Given my mum’s painful and dehumanizing journey with cancer, coupled with my experiences with her physicians, medicine and healthcare in general, my ambitions transformed from more heavenly-focused healing to something more earthly, physical and organic.

Clinicians hold a significant ethical and clinical responsibility to care for and protect patients. I learned from my mum that having the courage to always do the right thing for our patients, as they see it, is crucial to that mission. I admire your commitment to patient-centeredness, patient safety, patient and family engagement, and shared decision-making.

You provide high-quality care, advocate for a better healthcare environment, drive research and innovation, set standards for care quality and address some of healthcare’s most pressing challenges. Because of you, millions of patients spend time with their families and lead quality, meaningful lives.

During a medical school externship with the multi-disciplinary palliative care team at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center, it became clear anesthesiology was the specialty for me. I was inspired by two historical giants in this space and their ability to interact with patients during their greatest time of need. They would treat and comfort patients and their families through this complex and often disheartening time. I see that same quality in our teammates.

You consistently inspire me. Your steadfast dedication to outstanding clinical quality and social responsibility makes us a leading medical group—a group with a foundation of core values that can be seen in action every day in everything you do.

Hospitals are small communities. There are clinicians, nurses, pharmacists, techs and clinical support personnel of different types, police, clergy, hospitality and dining services, gift shops, playgrounds, barber services and sometimes post offices. Patients and their families and friends come and go and represent the most important visitors to our community. For well over two decades, I have worked within the perioperative space and predominately within one of these amazing communities in Glendale, Arizona, as a member of the Envision team working at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center.

As CMO, I see it as my role to listen to and advocate for clinicians, be a resource when a second opinion is needed, empower clinicians and equip you with the tools to provide the very best care for your communities. I also aim to foster a safe environment to practice, supporting your wellness and ensuring you are being cared for wholly and can care for the ones you love and cherish.

I love several aspects of my work as a physician, which can be broadly classified into three categories: the absolute art and science of perioperative medicine and anesthesiology, the honor of working with unbelievably skilled teammates and the incredible bonds I have made with patients, their families and you. I recognize how far medicine has come since my mum’s passing and how the work we are doing today will continue to improve care for patients tomorrow.

On this Doctors’ Day, I want you to know I am deeply honored to be your colleague and friend. Thank you for being an inspiration to so many others and me. Thank you for making patients’ lives better one moment at a time. Thank you for who you are and for what you do. There are great things ahead. I love you all.