Sam Wu, MD.
Trust is one of the most important elements of relationships. And one of the most significant relationships built on a foundation of trust is that between doctor and patient.
So important is this relationship between patient and physician that it was nationally recognized during Doctor-Patient Trust Week, March 22-28. In Philadelphia, a doctor demonstrates the magnitude of trust required between doctor and patient.
Sam Wu, MD, is a man whose story is one of motivation, encouragement, and trust. Born in Taiwan, he contracted polio at age one, resulting in paralysis of his lower extremities.
While a child in Taiwan, he received physical rehabilitation from physicians visiting from other countries. The rehabilitation made an enormous impact on his physical capabilities and was instrumental in his decision to become a physician.
Dr. Wu is now the chief medical officer (CMO) at Good Shepherd Penn Partners (GSPP). As CMO, he provides clinical care to patients, many of whom have permanent disabilities.
His journey was challenging and enduring, a test of strength and determination. Dr. Wu has had no shortcuts. He worked incredibly hard at achieving his goal to become a physician, and even now that he has come far beyond that point, he continues to set goals.
The notion of trust has contributed greatly to Dr. Wu's success. He has to earn not only the trust of his patients, who must see past his disability for assurance he will provide them with excellent medical care, but also that of his colleagues, who count on him as an essential part of their team.
Most importantly, Dr. Wu learned how to trust himself. He believes disabilities should not prevent anyone from achieving their goals. It is not about a disability, it is about doing what you love to do and trusting yourself to do whatever it takes to achieve your dreams.
Dr. Wu has worked with other physicians who have disabilities, helping to connect those who are just beginning their careers with others who are more advanced in their profession. He provides patients with the inspiration to follow their dreams, and he instills in them the belief that "happiness is achieving your own goals, not someone else's."
GSPP provides specialized inpatient long-term acute care, and medical and physical rehabilitation for patients transferred from medical, surgical, and intensive care at the University of Penn Health System's three hospitals. GSPP is a joint venture between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.