“A cherished memory from medical school was the day that I held in my hands a just newly born little girl as she took her first breath. I was blown away by that experience and to this day remain convinced that she was born to thrive.”
[Editor’s Note: On Wednesday Mark Neumann MD sent the following letter out to his colleagues at Gundersen Health System announcing his retirement and plans to become involved in the political work of bringing health care to the many in need. In addition to his work at Gundersen, he began his medical career providing healthcare in the Congo. Dr. Neumann gave permission to post this letter. — Mark L. Taylor]
I am writing to announce my retirement from the Gundersen Medical Staff.
Nine years ago, my family and I moved from Madison to La Crosse so that I could join our pediatric department. Reflecting on those years, I remain convinced that they have been some of the very best of my medical career. I have never doubted that working with all the great caregivers at Gundersen has been a fantastic capstone to the hopes and dreams for becoming a doctor that I had on that first day of medical school. I am grateful to my medical colleagues and nursing / therapist partners and all administration workers who have made these years so enjoyable. I am most grateful to my patients and their families who have trusted me to enter their lives at moments of great worry and concern. Those moments of shared confidence have been the cherished, precious pearl of my life as a physician.
It appears to me that the house is on fire for the future of our climate/home, and we waste time arguing about how to lay out the fire hose.
Transitioning to retirement when one is fortunate to not feel tired is wonderful. It opens new vistas of opportunities. Not too long ago, my 12-year-old son asked me, “Dad, why is it that your generation is leaving the climate of our planet in such a mess for my generation?” This question and many others of similar nature lead me to my plan to enter public life as an elected official. A cherished memory from medical school was the day that I held in my hands a just newly born little girl as she took her first breath. I was blown away by that experience and to this day remain convinced that she was born to thrive. More recently, serving on the pediatric palliative care team, I have had many occasions to see how families hope most dearly that their children will thrive to fullness of life no matter what the challenges. And it is this hope for human thriving (not just surviving) that leads me to enter public life as a politician to serve in our American tradition of self-governance of the people, by the people and for the people.
There are many serious and even dangerous decisions that must be had for the future of our human family and indeed all life on the thin surface of our precious planet earth. I am sorry when I see elected servants to public office wasting time and effort that is no longer available to be wasted. It appears to me that the house is on fire for the future of our climate/home, and we waste time arguing about how to lay out the fire hose.
I have had the wonderful fortune to serve for 35 years seeking healing for others in a private space at the bedside of patients and families. With God’s blessing I hope to spend my remaining years in the public space of political conversation for the sake of seeking healing for our shared communal life together.
With highest regards,
Mark Neumann, MD
Pediatric Hospitalist Service