Lessons from Dr. Patty

The Pediatric Insider © 2009 Roy Benaroch, MD

For Dr. Patty de Urioste (1954-2009), a great pediatrician, partner, and  friend

  1. Don’t rush. Even if you’re behind. Even if you’re waaaaay behind. Someone needs your time, and lunch (or dinner, or bedtime) can wait.
  2. Have a plan. There is something that needs to be done next, even if the diagnosis is unclear. Decide what to do next, explain it, and do it. Parents need to know there is a plan.
  3. Ask for help when you need it. No one knows everything. Call the specialist, call the ER, call the radiologist. Nag them if you have to, politely of course, until they tell you what you need to know. And remember it for next time.
  4. Listen to your gut. If the kid looks sick, or the kid looks wrong, do what you need to do. Don’t trust the history or the labs or the x-rays more than you trust your own gut.
  5. Help the patient. You might not have all the answers, and parents don’t expect a cure every time. Do what you can to help.
  6. Treat your employees like family. Pay well, listen, and make your business a good place to work. They’ve got your back if you’ve got theirs.
  7. Don’t miss an opportunity to learn. Every question is a chance to learn something new, and you never know when you’ll need that new tidbit again.
  8. Eat lunch. Whatever happens, however late you are, you must eat. And use the bathroom, too.
  9. Love books. Order them, buy them, smell them. You’ve seldom seen someone as happy and excited as Patty with a new load of medical textbooks.
  10. Don’t complain to patients. They care about you, but they’re there for their own problems. Focus on them.
  11. Listen. Someone is trying to tell you something.
  12. Wake up early. There’s time to sleep… later. No one regrets not getting enough sleep. Many people regret things they never got to do.
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24 Comments on “Lessons from Dr. Patty”

  1. Cassie Escarra Says:

    Many prayers to Dr. Patty’s family.


  2. Beth Olsson Says:

    These seem quite applicable for many people, with a few small changes – most of us don’t read medical books or deal with patients. 🙂 But the general advice is solid for everyone.

    Thank you for posting this. Dr. Patty is an amazing person and she continues to be in our thoughts and prayers.


  3. David Shaw Says:

    Dr. Patty has been our doctor and friend for a very long time. She will be greatly missed.


  4. Joanne Shaw Says:

    A fitting tribute to a wonderful woman.


  5. Marcy Bottoms Says:

    I’ll always remember Dr. Patty as being just the kind of doctor her lessons portray. Heaven is blessed with a special angel. Our prayers are with her family.


  6. Kathryn Gale Says:

    Dr Patty was my 4 children’s pediatrician since 1989 and we will always remember her extremely kind and patient demeanor…she was truly a gift for all of us and we will miss her dearly.


  7. Linda Moore Says:

    My family is saddened by the loss of a exceptional person and doctor. Dr. Patty stood by what she believed in and made me a better mother in the process. Her time had not come, and her good will is still needed by many.


  8. Jocelyn Dittmann Says:

    Our entire family is saddened by the loss of Dr. Patty. She has taken the most wonderful care of my 2 children for almost 15 years. Thank you for that, Dr. Patty, heaven has just received an amazing spirit.


  9. Cathy Pearce Willians- Ross and Kelly Says:

    Dr Patty has been a part of our lives since 1986 in her first office. Of course we followed her to Roswell. We trusted out childrens’ lives to Dr Patty. As I read her lessons above, I remembered that she practiced each one. She was the calm in our storms. She was the answer to our fears and she was our dream Physician. She became a friend in the office our partner in raising our children and our trusted provider. That is the key word here, we trusted her! I am so saddened to hear of this great loss to the world, to Dr. Patty’s family and to Pediatric Physicians which she created. I loved her practice and drove the extra miles once she relocated. I remember the wonderful photos of Dr Patty posted in the office showing her growing up. She ran a great team! We thought the world of Dr Patty and are blessed she touched our lives. The world is a much better place because of our Dr. Patty.


  10. Cathy Pearce Willians- Ross and Kelly Says:

    Dr Patty will be greatly missed by our family.


  11. Shawn Andrew Says:

    I am saddened by the news of Dr. Patty. I hate that the younger parents didn’t get a chance to get to know her the way some have. May her legacy live on in this practice and may you keep her lessons in mind as your offices go through difficult times in the coming days. Your offices will continue to be blessed if you continue to provide the care that has been instilled. Dr. Patty will be looking down from above and she will be honored to see what she created and has left behind. My deepest sympathy to her family, co-workers, friends and patients.


  12. Holly M. Says:

    My twins only got to see Dr. Patty a few times (and they are too young to remember her), but I always felt like we were in the best of care with her. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends in this time.


  13. Clifford Burnett , M.D. Says:

    I knew her well for many years and was attending physician to her husband , mother , and his parents . Her knowledge , patience , and kindness should be lessons for all of us physicians . She was the only choice as a pediatrician for my 4 grandchildren . We all grieve her loss terribly . Angels are real .


  14. Hania, Bob, and Robert Whitfield Says:

    Dr. Patty was Robert’s pediatrician from the day he was born in 1996.
    What can we say that has not already been posted…but we will always remember her smile, her patience, her way of always seeming to have all in the time in the world for us, and her sincere interest in Robert and our family for his total well being.
    We will always miss her. She was a shining example for all of us. You could always see her positive influence in the entire staff. We can’t imagine being able to ever fully realize that we will not be seeing her again when we come to Pediatric Physicians…
    Love and blessings to her family and all of the doctors and staff,
    The Whitfield Family.


  15. Becky Hintz Says:

    It was an honor to have met Dr. Patty in 1988 when she started to take care of my children. Over the years she not only was a compassionate pediatrician but a friend as well. She was a gift to this world and will be missed. Our family expresses their deepest sympathy to the family.


  16. Elizabeth Diehl Says:

    Dr. Patty was such a wonderful doctor and a great listener to talk to in the early years of my two youngest children. Our youngest son was very ill when he was born and for the 19 days when he was in the NICU, she called me daily to discuss his progress and see how we were…. even on her day off. I can remember his Neonatologist making the comment to me that she was a doctor who always went above what was needed. She was approachable and I knew I could discuss anything with her. We will miss seeing her immensely! Her husband, daughter and family remain in our prayers.


  17. Jennifer Reiser Says:

    Dr. Patty gave her time, love and compassion. Dr. Patty was knowledgeable and kind and anyone who was lucky enough to know her is aware of all of the above.
    My children and my husband and I are truly blessed to have Dr. Patty and pediatric physicians in our lives and we will remember always the kindnesses shared and the gentleness and great care taken of our children.
    May Dr. Patty’s family take comfort in our prayers and thoughts. Dr. Patty, may you rest in peace, you surely deserve some rest now after such a hard fight.
    We love you and will always remember you. The Reiser Family


  18. Dr Rhona Says:

    Thank you for expressing so eloquently what Dr Patty has taught us all. She taught everything about what it means to be a good physician by her example. During my years of practice with her, my litmus test was always..”What would Patty do?” She was my mentor, my partner, my children’s doctor but most of all she was my dear friend. God has blessed me by putting her in my life and I pray he continues to be with her family, strengthening them during this terrible time of loss. My family and I grieve along with all of you.


  19. Holly Z Says:

    Dr. Patty’s legacy lives on in the incredible staff at Pediatric Physician’s PC. She had a very calming soul that will be remembered for generations. Some of our children won’t remember her, but we will always remember how she cared for our children and made us feel as parents. Thank you, Dr. Patty.


  20. Kari Samuelson Says:

    My fiance received a difficult diagnosis in 1998 right before we were to be married. Dr. Patty met with us one weeknight after she had been working all day. For almost 2 hours she talked through our treatment issues and offered support to a young, scared couple. We were friends of one of her nurses, but she had never met us before that evening.

    Since that time, my husband and I have had three children who were all patients of Dr. Patty. She followed up with us on my husband’s illness the entire time and let him know of new research and treatments.

    I will never forget her kindness to me and my family.


  21. Patty was one of the first professionals I met when relocating to Atlanta in 1986.

    She was my children’s doctor, my friend and my rock when things got topsy turvy…..

    I am sure I have just stated what everyone who knew her, felt about her….

    Bless her family and staff that keep the essence of Patty going…


  22. Dianne Van Voorhees Says:

    Heaven definitely has another wonderful angel in its midst! Dr. Patty was our family’s pediatrician for 14 years, until we moved to Florida. She was a wonderful person and doctor and I, obviously, trusted her with my most precious gifts from God. What a truly awesome tribute…to be chosen as the pediatrician of a most beloved first child! New mothers and not so new certainly understand what that means. As the years went on and we had many more trips to the office (3 children says it all), I continued to drive 30 minutes one-way just for Dr. Patty and her fabulous staff. We knew we had the best medicine could offer! God bless Dr. Patty and her family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    The Van Voorhees Family
    Lady Lake, FL


  23. Janice Hamby Says:

    I was so very sorry to hear about the Dr Patty. We and the next generation of kids have suffered an enormous loss. My son was born with prematurely and had Hirshsprungs Disease. I honestly believe that he would never have made it without her. She was there with us at 3 am or at 6 am. It never mattered when. And she had the amazing ability to help me find humor in the most grim of times. Often she took care of me instead of my child. My worst regret when leaving Georgia was leaving Dr Patty. And I tell people stories about her to this day. This year my son…that child that Dr Patty kept plugging away at, will graduate from college. We’ll miss you girl…You were THE BEST!


  24. Monahan Family Says:

    We are so saddened by the loss of Dr. Patty. She was a wonderful, kind doctor. Our daughter has been a patient at Pediatric Physicians for over 14 years and we love everyone in the practice. She will be missed by so many. Our prayers and thoughts go out to her family, the staff at Pediatric Physicians, and all who knew and loved her. We are so, so sorry.
    The Monahan’s
    Alpharetta, GA


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