Saying ‘thank you’ to those who take care of us

HARLINGEN — He was just a teenager when his mother died, but the tragedy laid the foundation for Dr. Nabeel Sarhill’s life as a physician.

Sarhill, who specializes in oncology and hematology at Texas Oncology, said his mother died from wounds suffered in an accident when he was 15 years old. The lack of medical services that could have saved her — possibly something as simple as adequate blood supply — convinced him to become a doctor.

“There were not too many doctors to take care of people there,” said the Syrian-born doctor. “That time I decided to see if I could help people.”

Sarhill’s dedication, like that of so many physicians and nurses throughout the Valley and the United States, is being recognized today as part of National Doctors’ Day, says the website.

The first observance took place in 1933. In 1990, National Doctors’ Day became an official day every March 30.

“It’s a day to celebrate the contributions of physicians who serve our country by caring for its citizens,” says the website.

Of course, the day recognizes doctors so there’s nothing about nurses. But Dr. Nolan Perez, a gastroenterologist, said more attention should be given to his team members.

“In my mind it’s more about the team,” said Perez, who is also president of the Harlingen school district Board of Trustees.

“I can’t do what I do without my technician, without my nurse, without my anesthesiologist,” he said.

His procedure nurse, Brenda Campos, said Perez makes her and the other team members feel appreciated.

“I think he’s wonderful with his staff,” she said, adding he shows a great deal of respect toward her and the other assistants.

Perez does feel gratitude for today’s recognition.

“It’s greatly appreciated that the facilities and the folks that I work with on a daily basis go out of their way to show they appreciate me and my work,” he said.

However, the strongest satisfaction comes from the care of his patients — and their responses.

“For me that’s the greatest compliment that I can receive is when a patient that I’m caring for goes out of their way to send me a nice note or leave me a nice message at my office,” he said.

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