The Prairie Doc

Passing the torch

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When I was younger my parents would let me stay up late to watch “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. I will never forget when it was announced that he would be leaving the show, and Jay Leno would be the new host. I was shocked and upset. How could anyone possibly sit behind that desk and host the show as well as Johnny? My family begrudgingly started watching Jay Leno as he took the stage. The show was not the same, but over time we came to accept the new host and what he brought to the show that was different and new.

Change is difficult for everyone, but change is one of the few constants in this world. The Prairie Doc® organization is experiencing our own version of change after the death of our founder Dr. Richard Holm in March 2020. None of us will ever replace our Dr. Holm with his wisdom and charisma; however, we bring our own unique strengths and experiences to the programs to make them our own while supporting his mission. Dr. Holm embraced change as was evidenced in many of his writings:

“Change is something we all must face in life, and I have observed that those who embrace change seem to flourish,” wrote Holm.

“As the seasons turn, we are reminded that to survive in this life we must face change,” he wrote in his book Life’s Final Season. “Not too long ago, I attended two funerals in one month and wondered how both surviving eighty-year-old men were going to handle the loss of their spouses and all the changes that were about to occur. Usually people need about six months to mourn before they are expected to recover and move on. The standard teaching in medical school is to begin being concerned when mourning lasts longer than that, but every situation is different.”

Referring to the surviving spouses, Holm wrote, “When love is true, (the deceased) would want the one left alone to see change as an opportunity to continue in another way, to find fresh interests, to discover new joy.”

We invite you to join us in respecting Dr. Holm’s wishes as we continue his legacy and accept his challenge to embrace change. His message is clear, “I believe the ability to handle change is like working and stretching a muscle. If you don’t use it, you will lose it. Stagnation can cause rigidity, weakness, despondency and death; but movement can cause flexibility, strength, happiness and life.”

We hope that our loyal audience will continue to watch the show, listen to the radio program and podcast, and read the newspaper articles or blog posts. The torch has been passed and I, along with the other Prairie Docs and our guests, accept it humbly. We hope you enjoy this new season as we honor Dr. Holm and continue to bring you useful information based on honest science, provided in a respectful and compassionate manner.

Jill Kruse, D.O. is part of The Prairie Doc® team of physicians and currently practices family medicine in Brookings, South Dakota. For free and easy access to the entire Prairie Doc® library, visit www.prairiedoc.org and follow Prairie Doc® on Facebook featuring On Call with the Prairie Doc® a medical Q&A show streaming on Facebook and broadcast on SDPB most Thursdays at 7 p.m. central.

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