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A Father's Pride

After retiring in May, Pat Glynn reflects on a highly respected 41-year career as a nurse anesthetist at Lake Region Healthcare and glows with pride as he shares what it was like to work side-by-side in the operating room with his son, Dr. Jason Glynn, orthopedic surgeon.

Pat Glynn has reason to be proud.  After a highly respected 41-year career as a nurse anesthetist -- all at Lake Region Healthcare in Fergus Falls, he retired in early May.

"I have loved coming to work every single day," says Pat, who also directed the Department of Anesthesia. " I am going to miss it dearly, but it's time for the next chapter."

Pat's greatest joy was caring for patients of all ages, from a 3-day-old to a 106-year-old.

He also liked working with all specialties. His favorite was pediatric anesthesia.  "It's a very stressful time for moms and dads because it's difficult to entrust the care of your children to someone else," says the father of two and grandpa of six. "I took a great deal of pride in earning that respect."

It's no surprise that family played into the highlight of Pat's career: the chance to work side-by-side in the operating room with his son Dr. Jason Glynn, orthopedic surgeon. Jason joined Lake Region Healthcare in 2010.

"I waited many, many years for that moment," says Pat. "When it finally came, there wasn't a prouder father on this earth. I can't tell you how incredible it was to walk into that room and watch all his skills be put to work. It was wonderful." The two worked together often, Pat administering the anesthesia and Jason performing the surgery. 

Striving for excellence

Pat could see early on that his son had the makings of an outstanding surgeon.  The two spent hours together in the woodworking shop building birdhouses and constructing cabinets. "Jason was meticulous. Everything needed to be perfect," says Pat. "That striving for excellence and precision carried over into his education and medical career."

For Jason, the interest in medicine started early. "As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a doctor," he says. "I have memories of going to work with my dad on weekends when he'd see patients. I got a sense of what goes on in a hospital and what it means to take care of people."

And to work side-by-side in the operating room with his dad?  "The icing on the cake," says Jason. "To be able to work with your dad, doing things that you both have spent years learning to do and hopefully doing pretty well -- it's been a great experience. In the short time Dad's been retired, the place hasn't been quite the same. I miss him."

Leaving a legacy

For father and son, medicine is also about values -- values that were passed down from Pat's dad, a master cabinet-maker who this year turns 89. Says Pat: "My father taught me to be honest, be fair and treat people like you'd like to be treated. That's a lesson that served me well, and it's served my son and daughter well, too.  We hope to keep it going in our beautiful grandchildren."

Described as "two peas in a pod" by many at Lake Region, even down to their style of walking, Pat and Jason easily finish each other's sentences when they talk about what they believe is important in the practice of medicine.

"It's about giving your best to every single person you take care of," says Jason. Adds Pat:  "I totally agree. And it's about honesty, compassion, humility and a commitment to success."

Both land on the word "family" when reflecting on the practice of medicine at Lake Region. "Being a family and treating people like family," says Pat. "That's what we pride ourselves on at Lake Region. This is a place where a patient is not a number, but a person."

Like father, like son...

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