Not Retiring: “Mentoring”

Susan Leys
3 min readAug 23, 2022

Dr. Anthony Fauci — not retiring — mentoring.
The value of mentoring in healthcare & research? Priceless.

Dad — coolest guy ever!

1992: My parents are sailing to Cuttyhunk, a small island off the Massachusetts coast. When they get in and anchor the boat, dad suddenly loses consciousness and falls flat on the boat's deck before regaining consciousness 30 seconds later. (He had not been feeling well for a few months and was seeing different docs to figure out the cause of his symptoms — initially, his docs thought he had asthma, but they were still testing. And — because he felt a little better, on this weekend, they decided to try to get away for a few days).

My mom, a retired ER Nurse, not liking what she saw, decided to get dad to the hospital. Not an easy task when you are anchored in the harbor of a very small Elizabethan island. She arranged for a seaplane to fly in and pick him up. He was flown back to New Bedford MA and transported to a local hospital. They were unsure of what was going on, but with Dad having symptoms stable enough for transfer, they transported him to Mass General Brigham.

Minutes after he arrived at their ER, he experienced several seizures and a brain stem stroke which resulted in a coma. He subsequently (and thankfully) regained consciousness a little over a week later. As a family, we were (and will always remain) very grateful for the care we received from his team in the Oncology ICU at the Brigham and the collaborative care from Dr. Fauci and his team at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) who were contacted within a few days of Dad’s arrival. (Dad was subsequently diagnosed with Wegener’s Granulomatosis Syndrome).

I have never met Dr. Fauci or anyone from his team — but having been on the receiving end of the 4:00 am phone call from my mom saying “your dad is in the hospital, he’s in the oncology ICU at the Brigham, get here when you can”, I can tell you, I am very grateful for all of the healthcare professionals who are dedicated to (and passionate about) the work they are doing which leads to the provision of top-notch care for patients and families across our country.

I think we need to recognize #healthcare professionals in a more supportive, empathic, and nurturing manner than the way we are recognizing them now. Only then will we see retention, stability, and mission congruence.

Professionally and personally, I love the idea of retirement and mentoring (“rentoring?”)- handing down what we’ve learned throughout our careers to the generations of professionals on the path alongside us.

There’s work to do and so much potential in addressing the resilience and continued development of our system of healthcare in the US that I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.



Susan Leys

I consult and coach the healthcare professionals and teams who care for all of us.