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Reaching Out

Last week, a longtime reader of our newsletter asked for a referral to a doctor I trust in the Chicagoland area. The first person who came to mind was a fellow named Dr. Michael Krys, a highly decent person who I remember from my days as an intern as being supremely honest, caring, and skilled as a health care provider.

I left a message with Dr. Krys's office and was grateful to hear back from him within a couple of hours. I wondered if he would remember me 25 years later. To my surprise, he recalled a conversation we had when I called him from my first clinic position in Barrow, Alaska in 1998, and said that he still had a letter I sent to him around that time.

Back then, in preparing to leave Alaska for specialized training, I had reached out to Dr. Krys to see if he had interest in taking over my position, which offered a higher level of compensation than what was generally available in the lower 48 states. I was quite inspired to realize that while he could have used more income as an associate doctor who was just starting out, it was more important to him to stay in the Chicago suburbs near his family and friends. The letter I wrote to him expressed my admiration for his values, as well as my hope that I would also be able to live closer to my loved ones one day.

After reconnecting over the phone, Dr. Krys sent me photos of the original letter I sent to him in late 1998. What an unexpected gift it was to realize that it meant enough to him to have kept it for a quarter of a century - I am still struggling to find words to convey how deeply moved I am about this.

Reconnecting with Dr. Krys was a powerful reminder of what a blessing it can be to reach out to people we remember with fondness but have fallen out of touch with. I've also kept a small collection of handwritten letters that I received from friends over the decades, and plan on sending them copies of what they thought about and shared with me 15, 20, 25 years ago.

Giving thanks for my old friend Dr. Michael Krys in Elmhurst, IL who once again reminded me of how deep the heart can run, and how there are few parts of the human experience that are more magical than the memorable connections we share with each other. If you have an old friend that you haven't been in touch with for a long while, if it feels right, I encourage you to consider reaching out to reconnect.


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