As I sat with my friends and colleagues at the November RODEO (Retired Old Doctors Eating Out) group, I thought about how everyone was so connected, so very thrilled to see one another.

The RODEOS are the group gathered by Arun Singh to appreciate having spent a medical lifetime together.

You wanted a picture. Here it is.

                       Who can you pick out?

Why are they so linked, these physicians who trained and worked together for so many years?
They share a certain bond, a connection that centered on patient care in and out of the hospital, during training and for years after.

Those who trained together, staying up all hours of the night caring for patients, trying to stem the sometimes-overwhelming tide of exhaustion, shared many successes.

Those who practiced together shared patients, knowledge and experience. More successes.

There is no explanation for that, for how it was, for what it meant to be “straight out.” There is not a way to describe to those out of the ‘club’ what it means to be ‘in’. There is no way to explain the feeling of having done a good job of healing. It just is.

And we had a team …. nurses and so many others who had that special connection of making someone better. The ripple of bonding is broad.

Can I explain it to someone who was not involved? Should I try? I’m not sure, for I don’t think mere words would do.
What I am sure of is that I am proud to have been a part of it.

And prouder still to revisit our experiences.

Thoughts of Dr. Merlino

We lost a dear friend last week, Frank Merlino.

Arun with Frank Merlino

More than just a friend, Dr. Merlino was our mentor, our teacher, our go-to guy for so many things in patient care. The epitome of a physician, nobody was more attentive to his patients, nobody more caring. He set the bar so very high.  With a calm, firm demeanor, Frank had a way of instilling confidence in his patients, students and co-workers.  His teaching style was to the point, few wasted words, all pertinent facts. One never had to worry about finding a pearl from him. They were all pearls.

I never could get to make morning rounds before Frank. He was always first, leaving a wisp of cigar smoke in his wake.

Loyalty was his trademark — to his family, friends, colleagues and patients.

At his last luncheon with us, he was upbeat, smiling, and so happy.

We will miss this great man.

Thank you, Frank.


© 2017