Demondes Haynes, MD, FCCP, Professor in the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care and Associate Dean for Medical School Admissions at UMMC, delivered the keynote address at the American College of CHEST Physicians annual meeting in October. He began the keynote address, titled Perseverance and Motivation: Empathetic Medicine Amidst COVID and Beyond, by acknowledging the challenges that critical care and pulmonary medicine specialists face every day—challenges that have intensified over the past year and a half.
“I, like I imagine all of you, have endured a range of emotions over the past 18 months or so during this pandemic. I have felt fear, sadness, hope, and yes, even anger or resentment,” he said. “These are normal emotions when you deal with an unprecedented pandemic.”
He spoke about the importance of empathy and reflection on choosing a career in medicine as well as the benefits of creating a diverse physician work force for the future. He also encouraged the audience to engage in their communities, at a local school on career day, for example.
“The work you do will be invaluable in the lives of those children, and the empathy you gain and display will improve your life as well. I’m certain of that,” he said. “Who knows, you might inspire a young, underrepresented, low-income male to desire to become a physician—a pulmonary/critical care physician—pursue a career in academic medicine, rise through the academic ranks, become a medical school Admissions Dean, and one day serve as the keynote speaker at the CHEST annual meeting.”
More about Dr. Haynes’ keynote address here.