We asked our Women Surgeons to share with us their Holiday traditions and some of their favorite memories of the holidays.
Please enjoy these delightful stories from fellow AWS members — and feel free to share your own in the Comments.
Happy Holidays from all of us on the Blog team and the AWS!
Kandace P. McGuire, MD, FACS
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Director Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship & Premenopausal Breast Services
Magee Womens Hospital of UPMC
What holiday do you celebrate and what is the special meaning of this
holiday to you?
My family and I celebrate Christmas. We have celebrated many ways on many days and on multiple continents over the years! To me, Christmas is about family and giving. I love reconnecting with those I have lost touch with and being able to give to them and others during the holiday season.
What are some family traditions you have related to this holiday?
We have many family traditions, but my favorite is our annual trip to NYC. We take our son to see the tree in Rockefeller Center and to FAO Schwartz. We also take him to a restaurant that wouldn’t normally be “kid-friendly”. Last year we went to Le Cirque. He was such a little gentleman; they invited him into the kitchen to make his own dessert with the pastry chef! The 80 year old owner stopped us on the way out and complimented us on our well-behaved child. Pretty special!
We also have a tradition of giving to a child in need every year. I try to choose a boy who is about the same age as my son, so that he can pick out gifts that he would like and then give them away. Every Christmas morning we try to remember how special this Christmas must be for the little boy to whom we gave.
Do you have a good memory of patient care during a time you worked during
I was on trauma call for Christmas Eve my second year of residency. A funny story is a family of four who came in after a minor motor vehicle collision. They were spread out throughout the trauma bay: mother, father, two boys. Unfortunately, Dad was driving without a license and when the cops came to talk to him, you could hear one of the boys from around the corner yell, “Is Dad getting arrested AGAIN?!?”
Luckily, the cops gave him a summons and let him go home to enjoy Christmas with his family.
A nice memory is later that night, going across the street from the hospital to the only restaurant open, a diner that served the hospital and the local Philly old-timers. The entire trauma team crowded into a booth, ordered black and white milkshakes and burgers and traded war stories. We were blessed by no major traumas that night and no sad endings. It was one of my most memorable nights on call during my residency.