December 2022 Newsletter

Dear Patients,

Merry Christmas !!!

What a crazy year it has been. I have plenty to be thankful for this year. Here is a recap of 2022 at EPCW:

We reached our goal of having 300 members in our concierge program early this year. Thank you all for joining and being part of my EPCW family. My staff and I appreciate you very much for all the support you gave us, so that we can concentrate on taking care of your health and your family. We did not lose anyone to Covid during this pandemic. I still have zero hospitalization and zero death related to Covid. I am thankful I was able to keep everyone out of the hospital, young and old. I believe this pandemic will be over by the end of the year or early next year. But be careful !! Not Covid, but RSV and flu will skyrocket this year. It’s a nasty respiratory season already. We were able to catch many cancers in their early stages, and gave the best chance for survival against very deadly diseases. I am thankful we did not lose anyone to cancer this year. One of my patients actually made the news, and I have my 10 seconds of fame here:

We started a cardiac screening program with a screening CT angiogram. Any patient with risks for heart disease but not having any cardiac symptoms could pay for this advanced imaging to assess their CV risks. We were able to save two of our patients from having a major heart attack, as their lesions were at the “widow maker” location, pretty much a death sentence if this plaque fully blocked their left anterior descending artery. After a few stents, they are back to exercising and thriving.

Unfortunately, not every story has a happy ending. I did lose two patients to suicide this year. This was very hard for me. You can save a thousand patients but you lose a patient to suicide, and you start second guessing yourself as a physician, trying to figure out what you missed, and what clues you did not pick up on. I got mad and angry and then depressed. Then, I had to pick myself up again and vow to be better. If you know anyone that is struggling with mental illness, please, please, please, reach out to me. I had to tell myself that I am not a mind reader to overcome my self doubt. My best character trait as a physician is empathy. Remember that.

To summarize, it’s been a crazy year being a family physician, but I love my job and I actually do my best work and thrive in chaos. I love being involved in every aspect of your health. Thank you for allowing me and my team to take care of you this year. I am looking forward to next year and hope 2023 will bring much more happiness and better health to all of our lives.

Cheers to your health!

Dr. Suh