September 1st, 2017

A Little Guitar Makes a Big Splash

By Lucinda Gruber

In the chief's office, you never know what to expect when you open up your outlook inbox. Sometimes it is full of journal articles, questions about schedules/vacations, and invitations to numerous meetings. Sometimes it is an email about a project or a committee or a conference. Sometimes it is an SOS message from my mom regarding something my dad has done (often involving some power tool or another, often without the recommended eye protection). And, sometimes it is a really nice note about something a resident has done that was above and beyond. We love these notes. It is a nice reminder of why we (the chiefs) do the job that we do.

Today, I would like to share something we discovered in one of those notes. We received several emails from staff members about one of our residents, David Brennan, and his wonderful guitar skills. This was news to me as I didn't even know he owned a guitar, let alone played the guitar. So, I did some digging and here's what I found out.

Dave, one of our PGY3s, is an avid guitarist who has been playing guitar and piano since he was 12. His dad was a musician who played with various bands in L.A. while Dave was growing up, and Dave cites him as "the reason I play today." Dave has also played in several bands, and even traveled with a rock group, Rex Lex, during college. Last week, he brought his guitar to work for the first time, and he created waves throughout the hospital. He shared with me that he was asked to fill in for the "Music at the Bedside" service that weekend. He played three songs at the patient's request, including Billy Joel, the Beatles and Jimmy Buffet. Later in the day, a nurse asked him if he would perform for one of her patients, a former musician. He says, "The end result was a fantastic experience for patients and provider.  The patients opened up about their joys and struggles, and the interns and I felt we had made a positive impact in someone’s day." Check out his video on Facebook or Instagram @mayoimresidency.

Dave plans to pursue a career in primary care internal medicine after he graduates. Having worked with him in clinic, I know how dedicated he is to his patients. He finds a way to incorporate humor into a patient interaction without sacrificing his approachability. He is an astute clinician, but more importantly, he is a thoughtful, compassionate physician. He hopes to remain at Mayo Clinic in Rochester for his career as "the ability to continue working with the patient-centered programs here including Music at the Bedside, definitely reinforces my desire to stay with this organization.  Mayo seems to be a leader in the area of compassionate bedside care and there are many here who understand that patients have profound needs beyond what we can provide medically.  Sometimes the most pressing need is a little encouragement, and we have a culture here that tries to recognize and honor that. " I couldn't have said it better myself.

Tags: News, Resident Spotlight