This post is from one of the Inspiring Hospice and Palliative Medicine Leaders Under 40. Robert Crook, MD FACP, was selected based on his involvement in AAHPM, educating others about hospice and palliative medicine, participation in charitable work, and mentoring of students or residents. The honoree was then asked who inspired him over the course of his career. We are sharing some of his answers in this post. Check back regularly for posts from other leaders.

Who has most influenced your work in hospice and palliative medicine and what impact has he or she had?
I especially want to recognize my wife, Annette, for her seemingly infinite love, support and sacrifices during this journey.
I am grateful to have worked with many skilled physicians, nurses, social workers, and chaplains who have taught me much and shared their passion for palliative care. I thank the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne who introduced me to the field and for the privilege to work alongside them as an aide at Holy Family Cancer Home while in college. I appreciate Paul Mihacevich, Sister Luke, and all the nurses sharing with me their skilled care for dying patients and their families. I am grateful to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio for teaching inquisitive medical students and allowing me to learn from a master in compassion, Dr. Marsha Paul. It was an honor to learn under Dr. Michael Harrington during residency at Case/MetroHealth and I am appreciative for all the extra time he spent mentoring me. I give special thanks to the Hospice of the Western Reserve and Dr. Chuck Wellman for always being a resource over the years. My former partners Dr. Ann Moore and Dr. David Tribble have forever positively influenced practice. I appreciate the time, active mentoring, and friendship of Dr. Dan Masion, who taught me many things including some of the soft skills which were seemingly quite hard. Lastly, I am thankful for my current partners and the incredibly skilled and supportive team at Mount Carmel, especially Lori Yosick, Dr. Phil Santa-Emma and Dr. Walt Ferris.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope to serve where called and where my gifts best match the world’s need.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
“Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” -Frank Outlaw