A Patients Perspective To Honor My Doctor

A Patients Perspective To Honor My Doctor

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National Doctors' Day is held each year on March 30th, as a day set aside to honor the significant contribution physicians and caregivers make to communities, and their unwavering commitment to providing care to patients each and every day.

This year, Janelle Baliko wrote this heartfelt poem to share her 10 year healing journey under the care of Dr. I. David Shocket, director of Gastroenterology at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Read her poem below.


To Honor My Doctor


My body so very ill and weak
To the point I could barely speak
I reached out to you to consult
So many expectations for my end result  

You asked me to share my 23-year history
Little did you know the grueling summary
You listened intently and took lots of notes
As I narrated my account with moderate Crohn’s  

Already in your head you were planning my treatment
But nothing would be done without my full consent
You, the GI expert unequivocally  
And I the expert of my own body  

We were in this together as a team, you made clear
The rush of hope slowly replacing my fear
All I wanted was to feel better soon
You assured me this was your priority too  

How in the world is “GI” short for GastroENterology
I may never know, I’m just grateful you made it your specialty  

Through exams and tests all the way through to surgery
From day one, you’ve always treated me like family
You’ve seen me on some of my worst days at some of my worst moments
When the slightest touch to my gut was sheer torment  

The news wasn’t always good
But you knew I could handle it and handle it I would
I’ve evolved from weak into strong  
Due to your knowledge and support all along  

My Crohn’s struggles have been difficult over the years
You knew when they were bad when you saw my tears
You comforted and assured me that the treatment may take a while
But we’d do whatever was necessary to bring back my smile  

In your pocket you always had a Plan B
And ensured it was discussed and approved by me
We eventually achieved OUR goal
Remission has thoroughly revived my soul  

Your peers agree, an amazing doctor you are
Preferring to stay under the radar
But as your patient I won’t stay silent nor will I ever forget
The doctor who gave me my life back, Dr. I. David Shocket  

Thank you for nearly 10 years of caring and advisement. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you. Thank you.
June 2007 – March 2017 

--Janelle Baliko


Thank you, Janelle, for sharing your story, and to all of our physicians and caregivers at MedStar Washington Hospital Center for everything you do. To learn more about how you can honor YOUR doctor, please visit our Doctors' Day page.

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