Practice as Family

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Practice as Family

We were having a staff luncheon yesterday: me, Dr. Moran, Jennifer and Heather. This is Heather’s last week before her maternity leave. We were having a surprise shower for her. She thought it was just one of our usual monthly staff meetings until we started putting gift bags with onesies, hats and baby blankets in front of her.

“You guys ambushed me!” Heather stammered.

Over lunch, we discussed the newest member of our practice, a newborn baby whom Dr. Moran had rounded on at the hospital that morning.

“He’s from your side of the family,” he told me. Apparently I had been the baby’s father’s pediatrician since he was a little boy.

He smiled, then corrected himself. “I mean your side of the practice.”

But he wasn’t so far off the mark. We have been doctors in this community for almost twenty years now. Children we have known since birth are now having children of their own. In another reference to family, we refer to these children as our “grand-patients.”

So today, it was my turn to round on this new baby from “my side of the family.” I introduced myself to the mother, congratulating her on her beautiful new daughter.

“So, how are we related?” I asked her, as I examined the infant in her bassinette at the mother’s bedside.

She knew exactly what I meant. She didn’t miss a beat.

“Oh, Janice is my mother-in-law,” she told me.

There was no need for last names. I knew exactly who she meant. After all, we’re family.

Carolyn Roy-Bornstein MD