On February 14, the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine Gold Humanism Honor Society joined with dozens of medical schools around the country undertaking projects to observe the first National Day of Solidarity for Compassionate Patient Care.
As the first trauma surgeon to treat Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot, Dr. Randall Friese struck a chord when he said that his most important actions that terrible day were “holding her hand, speaking to her, and reassuring her that she was in the hospital and would be cared for.”
To honor that spirit of caring, the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation created a National Day of Solidarity for Compassionate Patient Care for medical schools to undertake projects demonstrating the importance of empathy and compassion in patient care.
To honor National Solidarity Day, the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine Gold Humanism Honor Society delivered electronic valentines to faculty, residents, and medical students, again emphasizing Dr. Friese’s message and conveying that in the context of sound patient care, “A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.” GHHS Chapter Advisor, Carol Stanford MD, along with medical students and residents, also delivered hand-made valentines to patients on the Internal Medicine service at Truman Medical Center.
On February 14, dozens of medical schools in the U.S. and in Canada stood in solidarity with Dr. Friese and the University Medical Center team in Tucson, Arizona. Other participating schools included Stanford University, Ohio State University, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, George Washington University, University of Florida, University of Virginia, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston, and the University of Alberta.
In a note to GHHS executive director Jacqueline A. Mintz PhD, Dr. Friese said, “It is a distinct honor to have my actions contribute to the organization of this event. I am pleased that a message of humanism in medicine is being communicated across the state and country. When I described my actions in interviews about that awful day, my goal was to help people understand the first few minutes of the congresswoman’s evaluation in the ER. Thank you for taking my small action and helping others understand its importance.”