A Vineyard doctor will receive a prestigious award for humanism from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.
The Gold DOC award goes to Dr. Prit Gill for his work as a primary care doctor with a Vineyard patient.
Irene Ziebarth, whose father is the patient, nominated Dr. Gil for the honor after a series of medical issues with her father and the sudden departure of a primary care doctor led the family to his office.
“We were so anxious for our first meeting because so much had gone on, there was so much medical history,” Ms. Ziebarth recalled.
She said Dr. Gill exceeded their expectations. Not only had he reviewed and studied her father’s medical records at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, at Massachusetts General Hospital, and the memo Ms. Ziebarth sent that morning, he delivered his words thoughtfully and compassionately.
This initial visit, along with Dr. Gill’s dedication and treatment to her father until the end of his life, prompted Ms. Ziebarth to nominate Dr. Gill as a Gold DOC through the Gold Foundation, which strives to maintain humanism in medicine.
Dr. Jordan Cohen, board of directors chairman at the foundation and a Vineyard resident, said the Gold DOC recognition program is a way for patients to nominate doctors who, in addition to being skillful and technically able, are also sensitive, respectful and considerate.
“There are qualities that go beyond scientific and technical aspects — while those are critically important — but physicians ought to also have a commitment to their patients as people, and to care for their individual concerns and their families’ concerns, and be empathetic to the kind of suffering they are going through,” he said.
Dr. Gill joined the medical staff at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital last May as a family physician in the primary care department, also specializing in geriatrics and addiction medicine.
“I remember her father very well. He happened to come into my lap and I tended to his needs,” he said this week. “For me, medicine is simply a service to those in need and I try to deliver it with a humanitarian instinct and I always have.”
Ms. Ziebarth said he explained complex medical terms clearly and considerately — even when the news was grim.
“What was so compelling about Dr. Gill was his combination of medical professionalism, analytical skills and compassion. Even talking about religion and the end of life, he was just amazing,” said Ms. Ziebarth. “He was there for us every time we called. The family was part of the patient plan. He helped us and he helped Dad.”
The Gold Foundation was created in 1988 by its namesake, Dr. Arnold P. Gold, a former professor of clinical neurology and clinical pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center. With advances in technology, Dr. Gold observed that the gap between medicine and humanism was widening and the relationship between doctor and patient was weakening.
“He got very concerned that his students and residents weren’t paying as much attention to patients and bedside examinations in a humanistic way that he believed was the core of medicine,” Dr. Cohen said.
He said the foundation established programs in medical schools to help develop patient-centered physicians, and the Gold DOC program is a way for these physicians to be recognized.
For more information about the Gold DOC program visit recognizeyourGoldDOC.org.