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It’s National Doctors’ Day: A look into the stethoscope

WTAP News @ 10- National Doctor's Day
Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 8:45 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - This Wednesday is National Doctors’ Day. It’s a time to celebrate our healthcare heroes and all that they do - one of them being Dr. Geoffrey Cousins of WVU Medicine Camden Clark.

For him, dreams of medicine began in childhood. Cousins spent many of his early years in hospitals and doctors offices.

He said, “Being the eleventh child of my parents, by the time I came along, they were up in age and my father was a coal miner underground for 35 years and so, by the time I came along, his health was failing from black lung and heart disease and my mother was suffering from diabetes…,”

It’s his father’s story that inspired Cousins to specialize in heart surgery.

“I love using my hands and I like immediate results and so surgery was the best place for me,” he said.

Cousins has been in the medical field for over two decades now - two of those years being during the Covid pandemic.

WVU Medicine Camden Clark’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Walter Kerschl remembers - even in the darkest times - the resiliency of doctors.

“Our ICU, our cardiovascular ICU as well, even our PACU was getting filled up with patients requiring ventilation. That was very worrisome…,” Kerschl continued, ”We all came together and it was incredible. We came together on a daily basis in a huddle. We had nursing, all the different ancillaries, physicians together, our palliative care team…,”

Amidst all the stress and challenges the healthcare field brings, the heart of a doctor beats on.

Cousins said, “The thing that keeps the dream alive for me is continuing to be able to help others.”

For Cousins, that dream is everything.

“Being a doctor means everything to me. It’s a lifelong dream come true to be able to help other people and it means everything to me to be able to be a part of the community - a part of the healthcare community...,” he said.

While doctors may take on a heavy burden, Kerschl, who practiced medicine for over 20 years, says sometimes something as simple as a ‘thank you’ can make a big difference.

“I know throughout my practice - very busy practice for many years - when a patient sent a little note and they actually thanked you for being there for them, that meant everything and it could take a very difficult day and turn it around.”

So here’s to all of our doctors and the sacrifices they make.

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