Mar 28, 2023
Honoring doctors who have made an impact

When Miriam (not her real name) came in to see Dr. Eric Weil back in 2003, she was homeless, struggling with substance use, and had been diagnosed with depression and hepatitis.

Dr. Weil and the team in his practice worked hard to support Miriam, offering medical care, social support, counseling, and treatment for her substance use. Then Miriam stopped coming in. Dr. Weil and team tried to find her in the community to no avail, and he never saw her again. But he also never forgot about her and often wondered where she ended up.

Nine years later, he received an unexpected letter.

Dear Dr. Weil,

I’m writing to thank you and to let you know that I am OK. The support, care, and compassion from you and your team gave me a start to getting better and the courage to start a new life. I left Massachusetts and sought treatment for my drug use and my hepatitis. I’ve been sober for almost nine years. I obtained a GED. I’m married now, have a job and a beautiful baby. You helped make that happen. I thought you should know. Thank you.


Dr. Eric Weil

“As doctors, sometimes just doing your job with care and compassion has profound impact upon the people you care for, and you may not even realize it. This was the case with Miriam and myself.”Dr. Eric Weil, Chief Medical Officer, MDLIVE, Evernorth's virtual care provider

This is just one story of how doctors impact patients’ lives – but there are many. In honor of National Doctor’s Day, we’ve reached out to a few of the many MDs across our enterprise and asked them to reflect on the impacts they’ve made and the challenges they’ve had to overcome.

Dr. J.B. Sobel, Chief Medical Officer, Medicare, Cigna Healthcare

Dr. J.B. Sobel

As an emergency medicine physician, I was often called on to help people at one of the worst moments in their life. One snowy night, I received a frantic call in the emergency department from a mother with an unresponsive infant. She said the child had been crying due to an ear infection that had been treated, and when she settled down, she thought the child had fallen asleep. Unfortunately, the child actually had gone into respiratory arrest and stopped breathing. Our hospital was miles away from her home and due to the weather, ambulances were having delays making it to emergency calls. I guided her through the steps of administering CPR on her daughter, and by the time the ambulance finally arrived, they were able to find a pulse and noted she was breathing on her own. She was transferred to the emergency department and made a full recovery. That moment ignited my passion for making health care more accessible. I worked with administrators from the hospital and other physicians to help launch an emergency telemedicine service over 25 years ago. I am hopeful that this service has made a difference for many other patients over the years.

Dr. Kaci Larsen, Supervising Physician Director, Evernorth Care Group

Dr. Kaci Larsen

We all face different challenges in life. Often times, people share those obstacles and fears with me as their primary care doctor. Creating a trusting relationship with my patients allows me to communicate openly and work together with them to overcome these challenges, especially those that are affecting their health. Anxiety and depression can have a significant effect. The trusting relationship I build with my patients helps them feel comfortable sharing their challenges and helps me develop a treatment plan that is right for them. This is one way I feel that I and so many of my colleagues make a huge impact for our patients.

Dr. Cheryl Hilton, Executive Medical Director, Evernorth Home-Based Care

Dr. Cheryl Hilton

I spent the beginning of my career as a hospitalist. While I enjoyed the complexity of hospital medicine, the increasing census numbers led to less time with patients. It was at this point I had the opportunity to pivot to home care medicine. I took a leap of faith and started doing home visits in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area. This was the best decision I’ve ever made. The ability to meet the patient where they are in their health care journey, and having the time to listen as well as impact their health in a way that was not possible in my prior job, has truly been a gift.

Dr. Susan Day, Orthopedic Surgeon and Medical Director, eviCore, an Evernorth company

Dr. Susan Day

As an orthopedic surgeon, it’s amazing to be able to work with patients to help improve their function and mobility. But I actually think I make the biggest impact in patients’ lives by educating them about their bodies – focusing on how they function and explaining the best treatment options based on their individual needs. Working together with patients in partnership and tailoring their treatments is incredibly fulfilling to me. In fact, the highest compliment I ever received was when a patient told me she always leaves her appointments really feeling “doctored” because all of her concerns and questions were fully addressed. To me, this is the greatest impact we can make as physicians.

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