A physician meets a woman turned emergency medicine resident whom he delivered as a baby 36 years ago
Every once in a while, life reads a little like a Hollywood script—sweet and surreal, happy ending and all. Picture this: a kindhearted physician helps deliver a beautiful baby girl for a couple who makes an impression. He never forgets them, although they lose touch over time. Thirty-six years later, that baby girl is grown up and pursuing a career in medicine. She ends up attending a conference where the physician who helped deliver her is speaking. Their reunion is joyous, and both leave with a sense of fulfillment and excitement.
This is the true-life story of Jay Kaplan, MD, FACEP, a member of the ACEP Board of Directors, and Sarah Medeiros, MD, MPH, an emergency medicine resident in Los Angeles. “Dr. Jay,” as he was known by her parents, helped deliver Dr. Medeiros in 1977. In 2009, Manuel Medeiros e-mailed Dr. Kaplan to tell him that his daughter was pursuing a career in medicine. Dr. Kaplan reached out to Dr. Medeiros, but the e-mail was buried in her inbox. Three years later, Dr. Kaplan contacted Mr. Medeiros to see how his daughter’s medical career was progressing and learned that she was a resident in emergency medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. This prompted Dr. Medeiros to search for and find the lost e-mail, and the two connected and agreed to meet at the ACEP annual meeting in October 2013.
“Though I’d heard the stories, I don’t think I ever expected to meet him,” Dr. Medeiros said. “But somehow, the fates aligned, and there we were! Dr. Kaplan certainly lived up to the praise. He made the time to meet with me at the ACEP annual conference in Seattle and offered to help me however he could with my upcoming career decisions. The meeting was even more special, as he was able to meet my husband and 4-month-old son.”
Dr. Kaplan was equally pleased with the reunion and a bit in awe to witness “the passage of time”—the baby girl he helped deliver years ago was now pursuing a career in the same field that he had enjoyed for so long. “I think that we, as physicians, go into medicine because we want to have purpose in our lives and make a difference,” Dr. Kaplan said. “For me, it’s like experiencing the generations to watch a child you helped bring into the world now grow up and become a full-fledged contributor and go into medicine for the same reason you did, to help people. There is a sense of fulfillment in that.”
“There are a few times in our lives when we experience the passage of time and when we experience our own mortality, not in a negative way but rather in a positive way. This was one of those times.”