Dr. Herbert Gannon

The most interesting part of my job

In my previous blog I stated how much I enjoy getting down to a personal level with Covenant Hospice patients.  Of course, the most important part of my work is managing their physical symptoms and their emotional concerns.  Yet one of the most interesting facets of my position is how it allows me to meet so many different and varied people who are either the patients themselves or members of their families.

One of these was a physician who was in his late 80s.  He knew that he was dying but the more we talked the more we both realized we had had many common medical experiences and it was a true joy to ask his opinion about certain medical questions and problems.  Yet I could tell that his spirits were uplifted by the fact that someone was still interested in the life he had lived and listening to his opinions on medical issues.

Another family member that comes to mind is a very nice lady who was the wife of one of our patients.  She and he had met in her home country of France and married shortly thereafter.  Even though she had lived in the states for over 40 years, she still had a very distinct French accent.  When I asked her about her accent and got their story on my first visit, she said “I am going to teach you a new French word everyday”.  She tried to do that the entire time her husband was there.  Interestingly, I ran in to her not long ago in the lobby of a doctor’s office and she asked “are you still learning your French words?” 

Finally, I was about to go see a new female patient and was warned that “her husband is a retired Army general”.  As I approached the room I began to wonder if I should practice up on my salute.  However, I found this gentleman to be one of the kindest, gentlest, and tender hearted men I have ever met.  It was a pure joy to go in his wife’s room each morning to see how they interacted with each other, to be humbled at how he was in complete agreement with our hospice plan of care and simply to be in the presence of this distinguished “gentleman General”.

The stories could go on and on but these are the types of individuals that we who are blessed to work at Covenant Hospice have the opportunity and privilege to see on a daily basis.


3 Responses to “The most interesting part of my job”

  1. How blessed we are at Covenant Hospice to have medical directors/physicians that truly care about and get to know the whole person, not just the patient, but their loved ones too. Dr. Gannon does not enter a patient’s room as an intimidating “MD”. He enters the room as a friend, a compassionate, caring fellow human being on this journey of life. His calming presence makes all the difference for our patients, families, staff and volunteers. Dr. Gannon, you met a “gentleman General”. We have all met a “gentleman physician” in you. Thank you for sharing your stories and for sharing your life with us.

  2. We appreciate you and all you do for our families Dr Gannon.

  3. I love that Dr. Gannon sees beyond what he can do as a physician with prescribing medications or treatments to manage symptoms and looks to the heart of it all…the people he’s caring for. Thank you Dr. Gannon for being so kind to those entrusted to your care…it makes a difference.

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