Roger Ray, MD

Issue 7 - March 2015

Doctors’ Day was recognized around the nation on Monday, March 30, an event marked by luncheons and other gestures of appreciation.  Long after this day ends, one of the most important ways we will continue to honor physicians year-round is through our System’s focus on physician wellness.

We’ve all read troubling statistics clearly indicating that our profession is struggling with “burnout.” This is a psychological state defined by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and decreased feelings of personal accomplishment. Even more disheartening are studies that reveal our profession is the most prone to suicides, compared to any other.

No, this is not an easy topic to address, but we must and we are.

So what are we doing about it here? Several teams at Carolinas HealthCare System – being led by doctors and experts from the CHS Center for Physician Leadership, as well as the CHS Medical Group Leadership & Professionalism Committee – are methodically studying this issue so that evidence-based, practical solutions can be developed. Their work will have lasting impact, and their recommendations will be hard-wired into our culture so that, over time, physician wellness is consistently emphasized and supported.

When it comes to cultural change, it often takes more than a few people to be successful. If you want to learn more about how you can help, or if you have any insights to share on this particular topic, please send an email to

In addition to Doctors’ Day, there is another celebration of note, and that is Carolinas HealthCare System’s 75th Anniversary this year.

From a community hospital that opened its doors on October 7, 1940, Carolinas HealthCare System has grown into a comprehensive network of more than 30 hospitals and about 900 care locations.

Paul W. Sanger, MD

When you look back on the history of any enterprise with a long tenure, it’s always fascinating to think about the things that change over the years, and the things that do not.

In our case, the changes have been nothing short of extraordinary. I think it’s safe to assume that none of the people who laid the cornerstone for Charlotte Memorial Hospital could have foreseen what one hospital could become.

Carolinas HealthCare System wouldn’t have a story to tell if it were not for our physicians and teammates. For 75 years, you all have helped us grow from a single hospital into one of the nation’s most innovative healthcare systems.

For example, Paul W. Sanger, MD, was a thoracic surgeon from Charlotte who helped to organize the 38th Evacuation Hospital, a group of about 400 doctors, nurses and other personnel who helped take care of the wounded and ill during World War II in the United Kingdom, North Africa and Italy. He returned to Charlotte after the war and founded a premier cardiovascular practice that accomplished many medical breakthroughs during his time. Today, the Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute stands as an enduring part of his legacy.

What is your story? Please share those with us by visiting our 75th Anniversary page on People Connect, available internally, on the home page.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my thoughts and reflections. I appreciate your time, and all that you do for our patients.