Physicians have been trained to be other-directed – patients always come first – which means that they frequently make their own health a low priority. Add demanding schedules, increasing administrative burden and endless technology requirements, and it’s no surprise that 30 to 40 percent of physicians experience burnout.

We at the Colorado Medical Society are interested in changing this, to help physicians be healthy and enjoy long careers in medicine. One of the ways we hope to decrease burnout is with a new series in Colorado Medicine, “Physician Heroes.”

Through Physician Heroes, CMS will profile as many different members as we can who have gone above and beyond in the profession to help their colleagues or community. To date we have honored Frank Dumont, MD, for his extraordinary work in helping maintain access to health care for the Estes Park community during the devasting flood of September 2013 and John Ogle, MD, an emergency physician in Longmont and a colonel with a 33-year history of service to our country.

We hope physicians will be able to reflect on the meaningful difference these heroes are making in the lives of their patients and communities, see their own values reflected in these stories, and be reminded of the joy of medicine that led them to join the profession.

We have intentionally kept the definition of “hero” broad. It could mean someone who has served in the military, figured out a tricky diagnosis, volunteered with a community health program, served rural or underserved patients, traveled many miles to treat a patient, or comforted someone struggling – anything that inspires others.

We need your help to identify these physicians. Please consider nominating yourself or a colleague for this series by contacting Dean Holzkamp at or (303) 748-6113 or Kate Alfano at

Categories: Communications, Colorado Medicine, Initiatives, Physician Wellness