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By: S. Todd Bashuk, MD, Ob Hospitalist Group Medical Director of Operations based out of Fayetteville, AR
Ah, the holidays. I remember being in med school and my family celebrating Thanksgiving in Atlanta while I was in St. Louis studying for finals. I thought it was no big deal – I’d have privacy to study, and frankly, going to my brother’s house and eating turducken wasn’t exactly Disney World. I could not have been more wrong. Domino’s does not make a turkey and dressing pizza nor does Hunan Wok make General Tso’s turkey. But as much as my brother annoys me, I missed his Bill O’Reilly rant and his turducken. When it was time to celebrate the new year, I sat alone in a call room, eating cafeteria-pressed turkey while the world celebrated. I missed my dad’s collard greens and black-eyed peas.
What’s a holiday? Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s come to mind first, then Fourth of July, Labor Day, Easter, and Memorial Day. But everyone is different. Some folks consider their birthday, Cinco de Mayo, or their son’s baseball game as times of celebration. During the holiday season, there is no greater gift to give a colleague than a day with their family instead of Christmas in a call room.
I became an OB hospitalist two and a half years ago. I had been in private practice for 15 years, and during that time, I missed everything important to me. After years of suffering from burnout and depression, I decided to make a change. With my wife’s support and blessing, we decided to blindly jump into the volcano, and I became a hospitalist for Ob Hospitalist Group (OBHG).
I have met so many great people during my time at OBHG, including some wonderful OB/GYNs still in private practice. My closest friend has been in practice for 60 years – let’s call him Dr. Mike. This man takes care of everyone else in the world and has the biggest heart of anyone I know. When I started working at Willow Creek Women’s Hospital (Johnson, AR), he was tired, burnt out, and honestly irritable. Dr. Mike was so far from the man he really is. Since OBHG has implemented a program at Willow Creek, he has slept in his own bed every night and he celebrates Christmas with his family. He was even able to attend his granddaughter’s kindergarten graduation. Because of the partnership between OBHG and Dr. Mike’s practice, he doesn’t have to miss important life events anymore. The few times I’ve had to call him back, he comes quickly and willingly without complaint. He is my super-secret back up and comes even if he is not on call.
Amidst this holiday season, I’d like to highlight the service OBHG can provide to the community. Providing coverage for our community physician partners gives them the freedom to do what they love. Whether it’s a major holiday like Christmas or a special event like a child’s dance recital, our hospitalists can make the biggest difference. At OBHG, we are giving some of the best gifts that can be given: time with family and safe deliveries.