Who Have You Thanked Today? This is Why Two People Thanked Me.

Who Have You Thanked Today? This is Why Two People Thanked Me.

Two thank you notes came to me today.

How many people snail mail hand-written thank you notes these days? And more to the point, how many people send thank you notes to pathologists? So I was as shocked as a dog going through an invisible fence when I received two thank you notes today, for two entirely different sets of circumstances.

The first note was the result of a telephone consultation from last week. A call was transferred to me from Mr. M, inquiring about a particular patient’s molecular microbiology laboratory result.

After determining that the caller was the patient’s brother and not the patient’s physician, I explained that HIPAA regulations prohibited me from answering questions without the patient’s consent.

“OK, forget about my sister, can you just review some lab procedures to me?” Mr. M asked.

“Sure,” I said.

Following that, we discussed how molecular microbiology worked. I explained why some tests such as qPCR detected certain organisms, while other tests, including the technique known as next-generation sequencing, could detect a far greater number of bugs. I could hear the light bulb go off in Mr. M’s brain as he applied this knowledge to the facts of his sister’s case.

Mr. M’s thank you note revealed he was a retired radiologist. He let me know how grateful he was for the few minutes I spent speaking with him. From his spindly handwriting, I surmise that it has been quite a while since he has been actively practicing. I was glad to bring him up to date on a modality that probably didn’t exist back when he last reviewed a patient’s chest x-ray.

The other thank you note also came from someone whose knowledge wasn’t quite what they needed it to be. She was a rep for a software company, and she turned up in my office unannounced and badly uninformed.

She was brand new in this particular sales position and clearly had no understanding of how various lab systems worked–she really didn’t understand what she was selling.

Along with my associate, I spent half an hour in my office with this struggling sales rep. We talked about how a lab operated, we defined some important terms, and we explained to her what her product could, and just as importantly could not, provide to a lab. She took copious notes as we gave her the basics that her employer had somehow neglected to provide to her.

In her note, she thanked us for taking the time to provide her with some guidance. I hope we provided her with enough to save her career.

It’s a pleasure to receive notes like these two. Something that I will miss when I soon close my office door for the last time!

Like what you read here? Add your name to our subscription list below. No spam, I promise!

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required


Filed under:

Thank you notes


Welcome to ChicagoNow.

our bloggers,
post comments, or
pitch your blog idea.

Recent posts

Who Have You Thanked Today? This is Why Two People Thanked Me. »

Posted today at 11:12 am

The DE-Evolution of DE-mocracy »

Posted Tuesday at 9:58 am

Memories of a Sunday Picnic. Does Anyone Do It Anymore? »

Posted August 10, 2022 at 9:21 am

Even the Water Guy Is Leaving »

Posted August 5, 2022 at 7:00 am

Cooper Says “Sock It To Me.” »

Posted August 1, 2022 at 7:20 am

Meet The Blogger


Hi! I am Les, a practicing pathologist living in the North Suburbs and commuting every day to the Western ones. I have lived my entire life in the Chicago area, and have a pretty good feel for the place, its attractions, culture, restaurants, and teams. My wife and I are empty-nesters with two adult children and four grandchildren.

Subscribe by Email

Completely spam free, opt out any time.

Monthly Archives

August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015

Read these ChicagoNow blogs

Cubs Den

Chicago Cubs news and comprehensive blog, featuring old school baseball writing combined with the latest statistical trends

Pets in need of homes

Pets available for adoption in the Chicago area


It’s like the couch potato version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

About ChicagoNow



Recent posts RSS

Privacy policy (Updated)

Comment policy

Terms of service

Chicago Tribune Archives

Do not sell my personal info

©2022 CTMG – A Chicago Tribune website –
Crafted by the News Apps team

Read More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.