05/05/10 — Quality care: Dr. James Atkins' gift is caring for his patients

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Quality care: Dr. James Atkins' gift is caring for his patients

It is not easy becoming a doctor. There are years of school to complete and complex procedures to memorize and to apply in stressful situations when the pressure is on.

So to be called one of the top practitioners in your field -- now that is an accomplishment.

But part of what Dr. James Atkins was honored for Tuesday night at the annual Distinguished Service Award Banquet held by the Tuscarora Council of the Boy Scouts of America was something that cannot really be taught.

Those who honored the renowned cancer doctor Tuesday commented on his skill as a doctor, yes, but also on the compassion and care he shows every patient who comes through his doors.

And those qualities -- achievement in his field as well as remembering to take into consideration the feelings and stress of the families he treats -- are just the kind of qualities that should be admired and honored.

Dr. Atkins is an example for every young person who is deciding how he or she is going to live his or her life. He has excelled both as a professional and as a person. That makes him just the sort of role model that the Boy Scouts of America should honor and that the Scouts themselves should emulate.

Dr. Atkins will likely receive many accolades before his career is finished. But the ones that likely will mean the most to him are the tributes that come from the patients and families for whom he has been more than just a doctor.

And that is what makes him such a fitting honoree.

Published in Editorials on May 5, 2010 11:14 AM