a long way from home

This evening, as I was taking "signout" about the patients I will inherit on the pediatric inpatient unit tomorrow, for some reason I started to think about how far away I am from "home"

Not necessarily a home to which I want to return. My original home in Brooklyn, New York. The daughter of a bus driver who graduated from High School and a homemaker who had to quit school after the 8th grade. A life with no extravagance. A life of goals that seemed unrealistic, and completely out of reach.

My thoughts were wandering as I considered not the diseases of the little patients I will be seeing in the morning, or who may come in during the week, but their life circumstances. I know so little about them at this time. I know so little of their backgrounds, their situations in life. I am pretty sure that none of them call Brooklyn home. And most have likely never seen a city as big as my home town. Yet somehow I feel that we are connected.

Many of the children will be admitted with acute illnesses that can be treated. Some will be there with chronic problems that take a long time to heal. Some will have traveled from a far distance, others may live within a few miles of the Children's Hospital. Yet all of them likely have a goal, or will once they are old enough. Or their parents have a goal on their behalf. And it is my job to see that they can get out of the hospital so that they can pursue that goal, whatever it may be.

Wishing my readers a good week, full of goals that are within reach, even if they at first don't seem to be.

Recent Comments

The journeys that each of us take in life are SO fascinating...I just love hearing the stories of the roads that people have traveled...and, you are in a position to see these travelers at a time in their lives when the road is so full of adventure ahead of them!
Great post Alice...thank you for sharing!

Thanks so much Claudia for your kind words. Sometimes my shortest posts, written without a lot of angst, hit the most chords with my readers. I appreciate your presence here!

Thanks, Heather. You continue to be an inspiration to this blogger and this blog. I appreciate that you take the time to offer comments and add to the community here.

I hope all of your patients had A's by the end of the week. ;) It is so obvious that you care about your patients and your students and the future that they all can hopefully look forward to. Thanks.

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About Dr. Ackerman

Alice Ackerman, MD, MBA, FAAP, FCCM is the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Carilion Clinic and Professor and Founding Chair of Pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Dr. Ackerman is recognized nationally as an expert in pediatric critical care.

She has been at Carilion Clinic since June of 2007. Her primary goals are to enhance the health care of children in the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia, and is actively working to do this both as physician in chief of the children's hospital, as well as through involvement with many state-wide initiatives.

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