Emory Hospitalist Keynotes AUC Commencement, Encourages Culture of Caring
Dhaval Desai, MD will never forget the night he took care of 3-year-old Maggie during his residency. When he signed out after a 30-hour call—the majority spent tending to Maggie, who had complications from chemotherapy for her leukemia—Dr. Desai didn’t know if she would make it through her ordeal.
Until a year later, when a man approached Dr. Desai in the grocery store. After a beat, Dr. Desai recognized him as Maggie’s father, and the two hugged. The man thanked Dr. Desai for his care on the worst night of his daughter’s illness, and brought him to the next aisle to see the thriving four-year-old, where she was sitting in a shopping cart pushed by her mother. Maggie had recovered and was off chemotherapy.
These kinds of experiences, Dr. Desai told the graduating AUC Class of 2017 last weekend, are the true rewards of being a physician. “Some days will be easier and some days will be harder, but doing what’s right for the patient will be the most rewarding for you,” he said.
Dr. Desai was the keynote speaker for AUC’s 2017 Commencement Ceremony, held Saturday, May 27 in St. Maarten. A 2008 graduate of AUC, Dr. Desai serves as Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, Director of Hospital Medicine at Emory Saint Joseph’s, and a Hospitalist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
In his speech, Dr. Desai urged the new doctors to find confidence in the resiliency they’ve developed throughout their medical training, while continuing to express AUC’s culture of caring. “As I am well settled in my practice, I continue to utilize the foundations I learned at AUC with me in a different capacity everyday,” he said. “I cannot emphasize enough how important and positive your future is not only as a physician, but as a graduate of AUC.”
Dr. Desai has received numerous awards for his work and leadership, including AUC's Outstanding Community Service award, Wright State University's Excellence in Teaching award, Emory Healthcare’s 2015 Outstanding Leadership in Hospital Medicine award, and Emory University Department of Medicine’s 2016 Outstanding Clinician award.