I’ve made no secret about my disappointment in the medical system in this country, ever since the trend toward more of a socialized medicine model.

Strong government interference as well as heavy-handedness on the part of insurance companies have turned what was the greatest medical system in the world to something resembling medical care in the more provincial hospitals in Europe.

My disillusionment had gotten so bad that after my last few visits to the emergency room and a somewhat lengthy inpatient stay for my husband, I had so much anxiety about the prospect of ever having to visit a hospital again.

But I was lucky enough to come across a physician who completely alleviated that fear. A physician who helped us remember a time when doctors practiced medicine for the love of it. Her name is Dr. Elizabeth Gilman, and, at the risk of sounding saccharine, she’s special.

Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

That I feel compelled to write about an ER visit for the first time is a true testament to the fact that I now have hope again.

From the moment Dr. Gilman entered our little ER room, something about her demeanor made us feel immediately comforted somehow.

But then, as the hours wore on, we realized that we indeed had come upon modern American medicine’s holy grail: A doctor who practices the way the great doctors have in this country for years — with a combination of smarts, confidence and warmth.

An accomplished ER physician who looks about 23 but has, in fact, been practicing for many years, Dr. Gilman shocked us with her friendliness and the time she seemed to have for our barrage of questions even though the ER was seemingly packed!

She had an easy smile, but not at the cost of her professionalism, a friendly demeanor yet strong diagnostic skills, the ability to think quickly and make decisions under pressure, and yet somehow still have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. (Sometimes you get one or the other.)

And we also noted her ability to stay calm in a high-stress ER, her thorough understanding of emergency medical procedures and protocols, and most importantly her ability to be compassionate and empathetic towards us.

Even the nurses commented about what a wonderful doctor and person she is. As a side note, when was the last time you saw a doctor at a hospital stop to address (by name) the guy emptying the garbage cans and ask about his well-being? That’s Dr. Gilman.

A winning bedside manner, the ability to put patients at ease and a clear love of what she does made me feel compelled to write this in grateful tribute.

I hope you don’t have to visit any ER. But if you do find yourself at Monmouth Medical Center’s, I hope you meet Dr. Elizabeth Gilman and you’ll be assured, as we were, that wonderful emergency room medical care is alive and well in NJ.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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