A Place of Gratitude: Professionalism at the Larner College of Medicine

Gordon White

Written by Gordon White, Manager of Technical Support Services 

This is the fourth blog post in a series on professionalism at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine.

I recently had the honor of sitting on the Dean’s Professionalism Statement Task Force. I am not sure what prompted me to apply, but I was genuinely excited about being selected.

At our first meeting, Dean Page made it clear to us that this statement was incredibly important. He and Dr. Leonard had selected a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, and residents to comprise the task force.  This statement is central to our college; it is included in every offer letter for new faculty and staff members, and it serves as a code of conduct for our community.  I was surprised at the sense of responsibility I felt in being part of this process.

A couple of years ago my mother, my father, and my wife all faced serious health issues at the same time.  As you can imagine, I spent a lot of time at UVM Medical Center, often visiting multiple floors on the same day. My days were filled with interactions with members of the Larner College of Medicine community, including medical students, residents, and of course faculty/doctors. Having worked on the college’s information services team, known as COMIS, for the last 12 years, I had helped many of these same people with technology. Now, they were caring for some of the most important people in my life.

As we worked through the various drafts of the professionalism statement, I realized we were describing what I had experienced on hospital floors with my colleagues here at the College of Medicine — compassion, kindness, integrity, respect.  It became clear to me that my sense of responsibility came from a place of gratitude.

The Larner College of Medicine Professionalism Statement is important not because it declares something new, but because it describes who we are and shares the guiding principles our community holds close.

  • Read the Larner College of Medicine’s statement on professionalism and watch a short video
  • Read the first blog post in the series from UVM Professor and Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph.D., task force chair
  • Read the second blog post in the series from Lyndelle LeBruin, M.S., M.P.H., senior lab/research technician and project coordinator in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
  • Read the third blog post in the series from James Ulager, M.D., FAAFP, Associate Vice President of Clinical Operations, University of Vermont Health Network Medical Group, and UVM Assistant Professor of Family Medicine

What are your thoughts about this topic?