Flattery is the best medicine | PostIndependent.com

Flattery is the best medicine

Contributed photoFrom left, Cynthia Cohu, operations director; Lindsey Plant, medical assistant; and Paul Salmen, MD, pose for a photo.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Dr. Paul Salmen at Glenwood Medical Associates is a good doctor, we know that. But he might make an even better subject. He proved this after a patient of his, John Gulick, wrote about him and won a Mountain Medicine Directory essay contest titled “Why I Love My Doctor.”

Gulick won $1,000, and Salmen won a heckuva compliment.

“I am grateful for the kind words from my dear patient, and especially grateful for the privilege of touching so many families’ lives over the past 27 years,” Salmen said. “I know for sure, however, that the practice of medicine is a team sport. If I look good, it is only because I get to play on a number of great teams. I have been lucky to be a part of the larger team of doctors and professionals at Valley View Hospital who, every day, teach me new and better ways to help the families that I care for.”

Each submission could not be longer than 250 words of original writing. Mountain Medicine Directory for Healthy Living is a local publication dedicated to connecting health care consumers with the best care available through licensed doctors, certified practitioners, hospitals and clinics.

The essay is below:

By John G. Gulick

I met Dr. Salmen over 20 years ago. He was establishing his Family Practice, and traveling weekly to the Eagle Clinic. Living in rural Eagle County, my wife and I needed a family physician to help us with our first pregnancy.

We scheduled in with Dr. Salmen and he confirmed that we were, indeed, going to have a baby. He went on to explain all of the details of this process and how we could have this child and prepare for the best possible outcome, a healthy baby and making the delivery as economical as possible, since over time, the cost of medical care has continued to rise. He explained the risks and challenges of managing a pregnancy, and helped to lead us in a positive direction, planning our future family.

Two years later, we were in the same situation, pregnant with our second child. Dr. Salmen estimated our delivery due-date to the exact day and, fortunately, we were able to speed through Glenwood Canyon during highway construction, as my wife’s water broke and birth was imminent. Within 20 minutes of our arrival at Valley View, the baby came into this world.

Knowing that I was a firefighter-EMT, Dr. Salmen tossed me a gown and rubber gloves and said, “You’re going to catch a slippery football.” He talked us through the entire procedure, explaining every detail. I was able to clamp and cut the umbilical cord. As he looked into my eyes he said, “It’s a girl!”

Wow, an experience I’ll never, ever forget! I was the first to see her breathe her first breath!

Over the past two decades, we have made countless visits to our doctor, for everything from common illnesses, to wellness checks and annual physicals. Dr. Salmen has seen our family grow through many of life’s human conditions, including the multiple infections and usual things kids acquire while attending daycare and school. Through the years he has helped us cope with serious events, the passing of my parents a few years apart and my wife’s surgery and her progressive recovery. During these trying times, Dr. Salmen gave recommendations, contacts for other doctors and medical staff whom he trusts and who would give ultimate care with the best possible outcome.

He once again assisted us to become healthy, happy, living life well and aging well. Typical Americans!

On several visits to the doctor’s office, Dr. Salmen asked me if a medical student in-training could assist him with a procedure. I, of course, assented, as a student under Dr. Salmen’s guidance would be receiving the most intimate, top-of-the-line training. They would be learning by doing the best way possible and to apply his practices and procedures, or to emulate what he has to offer would only make them become the best doctor in serving their patients. Dr. Salmen is one true professional.

Why do I love my doctor? Because I have had him there as consult and advisor through thick and thin, through happy times and success, to job loss and stress, moving on to the next stages in life, staying well, eating right and exercising to stay in it a little bit longer. As the song by the Beatles from the ’60s goes:

“P.S. I Love You!”

Paul Salmen, MD, you are the best!

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