An Open Letter to Nurses and Nursing Staff

Thrive Global

As a society, it is important that we show our support and gratitude for first responders.

Though the Coronavirus has brought uncertainty into our homes and places of work across the country and world, one thing remains certain, and that is your continued dedication as first responders. Each day I come to work, I am inspired by you, my co-workers who put their own lives on the line to help protect our communities during these challenging times.

Throughout my years as a primary care physician, I have had the pleasure of working with so many of you. You have dedicated your lives to serving others with pride and courage. Months into this pandemic, I feel compelled to take a moment of reflection, thinking of all of you, the first responders who have been part of my team. I see you, day in, day out, tirelessly working to care for our patients.  Seeing you respond to this crisis has deepened my appreciation for your crucial roles in our fragile healthcare system. I have so much respect for you, and I wanted to send you this a personal note of gratitude.

As a society, it is important that we show our support for you, and let you know that we are here to help you stay resilient as you continue to keep us safe. When I think of you, the one word that rises to the top is “respect.”

I respect you for all the times you were first to volunteer for hazardous situations.

I respect you for all the times you so magically placated hostile and intense situations around us.

I respect you for the bandwidth you’ve shown to ease everyone’s anxiety when emotions were running high.

I respect you for all the times you transform patients that were very uninvolved and perfunctory in their own care into reliable, compliant, and healed individuals.

I respect you for all the times I watched you go above and beyond the call of duty.

I respect you for all the times you held my hands and helped me get back up when I was down, reminding me with kind words that “the work must continue.”

I respect you for the ways you face challenges full steam ahead when others might have the instinct to simply hide.

I respect and envy the way you handle grown-up tantrums, while staying calm and caring.

I respect you for all the meaningful contributions you have made to my own personal growth.

I respect you for not backing away when so many others were fearful of stepping in.

Last but not least, I respect you for working at such an intense pace to help families in need during this pandemic. I know it has not been easy, but you are truly making a difference. You are saving lives, and as a result, you are changing the world.

Your stories, as nurses and nursing staff, are stories of empathy, compassion, and care that are hard to describe. It’s a story of serving rather than being served. If there was ever a time for you to be proud of the work you are doing, now is the time. I am here to tell you that you mean the world to me. It is because of you that I can be the best doctor that I can be. We are in this together, and know that I am here for you, like you are there for our patients.

With the utmost respect and gratitude, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Stay strong, we need you more than ever!

Dr. Shali, Reyzan

Reyzan Shali

I’m a primary care physician, board certified in Internal Medicine, and practicing in the San Diego area. I’m a mother, wife, sister, aunt, and friend. But first and foremost, I’m a proud Kurdish daughter of two great Kurdish parents from the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

More of our stories from

First Responders

All Topics