Dr. Herbert Gannon

The Reason I’m a Covenant Hospice Physician

As a former OB-GYN, people often ask me how did I leave such a “happy medical field” to work in a field that includes death and dying.  When I made this transition almost five years ago I initially had to think about my answer to that question.  However, the longer I worked with Covenant Hospice patients the answer to that question became much clearer.  The practice of medicine in its purest form deals with only one thing.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a neurosurgeon or a family practitioner, the one common denominator of medical practice is caring for patients.  If a physician in any specialty does not truly care about his patients, he will soon realize that he made a mistake in his life choice, and that incorrect choice will be manifested as symptoms such as unhappiness or dysfunction in other aspects of his life.  However, if a physician truly cares about patient care, then he will always derive happiness from at least one aspect of life, that being caring for patients.

Therefore, whether one is an OB-GYN or a Covenant Hospice physician, actually caring for patients and deriving happiness thereof, remains the same.  Almost on a daily basis when the “busyness” of life and work seem to intrude from every avenue, I find that simply going into the room of a Covenant Hospice patient and talking with the patient and/or the family redirects me to the simple things of what is important in life.  I have found that Covenant Hospice patients and their families no longer are very concerned about politics, or sports, or business, or numbers.  They have come to realize as they face the end of life’s journey that the truly important things come simply from the touch of a hand, or a smile from a loved one, or meeting a stranger who will sit at their bedside and listen to them instead of talk at them.

Therefore, whether one is an OB-GYN or Covenant Hospice physician, the joy of caring for patients is the same whether it comes from the excitement of the birth of a child or hearing a hospice patient say “thank you to you and your Covenant Hospice staff for being kind to me and my family”.  Our patients are real people dealing with real death.  Through this they demonstrate to all of us the answer to life.

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5 Responses to “The Reason I’m a Covenant Hospice Physician”

  1. I can’t think of any better way to explain the honor that comes from working with the patients, well said.

  2. Thank you, Dr. Gannon, for reminding us why we work or volunteer for Covenant Hospice. It all comes down to caring…caring for the patients and families that we are blessed to serve and caring for each other. Thank you for being a physician who truly cares. We are very fortunate that you chose to serve Covenant Hospice patients and families!

  3. Well said!

  4. And that Dr. Gannon is why we love you as our leader. Christina Olsen, LPN Covenant Hospice Nurse

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