A Tribute To The Best Man I Know

By Meetal Desai • March 25, 2014

The best man I know is my father- he is quite simply the best man I have ever met.

My dad is a trained cardiologist who refocused his practice on addiction medicine much later in his medical career. He was the first physician trained in how to chemically detox opiate addicts using another narcotic drug in the state of Virginia. His practice flourished but not in a financial capacity- it flourished in the amount of lives he was able to touch and turn around.

At first I was surprised that my dad decided to discontinue his cardiology practice. Wasn't cardiology more respected than working with addicts- wasn't he nervous about working with such a population? Over time, I realized that my dad's choice embodied a philosophy that my sister and I were raised with and that serves as the defining doctrine of his own life: Always treat people the same- it doesn't matter about gender, economic status, sexual orientation, life history, circumstance- we are all people and we are all deserving of love and more importantly, a second chance in life.

A second chance is what my dad works towards with each patient he treats. He has touched more lives than I can count and has approached each patient without judgement and with the guarantee that he can help them combat their addiction if they are willing to put in the work themselves in conjunction with his help and medical oversight. His faith has kickstarted so many people on the road to recovery- his commitment and willingness to help people that have been labeled and pre-judged by society has meant so much to so many.

On my dad's 68th birthday I write this tribute to him and want to say thanks dad. Thanks for being a hero to so many and thank you for teaching me one of the most profound lessons of my life- Judgement does nothing besides cloud your own thinking and hurt others. No one is better than the next person and at the core, we are all human beings that want and need the same nurturing, acceptance, and love.

Thanks Daddy.

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