‘Great Doctor’ Mends Broken Wing of Young Patient’s Favorite Toy

A medical student at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is being heralded as a “great doctor” for his unique bedside manner after he took the time to mend the broken wing of a young patient’s owl stuffy.

‘Great Doctor’ at Packard Children's Mends Broken Wing of Young Patient’s Favorite Toy

Three-year-old Nikollette Chan was scheduled for a surgery at Packard Children’s after experiencing health issues affecting her lymph nodes. When she went to the hospital, she brought along her favorite toy, HoooMe, for comfort. The stuffed owl is a cherished gift from her grandparents.

“Hooo-Me was in pain because she broke her wing as a baby,” father Nikolas Chan shared in a tweet. “[Thomas Beck] was genuinely interested, made a diagnosis, then promised to return with a ‘cast.’”

At the time, Thomas Beck, PhD, who is a medical student at the Stanford University School of Medicine, did not know that his pediatrics preceptor, hospitalist Jessica Allan, MD, was observing the interaction. Dr. Allan shared details of the encounter in a tweet, which has since gone viral with more than 240,000 likes and 12,000 retweets.


A day later, upon learning that something he did had gone viral, Beck said he was confused at first. But after seeing Dr. Allan’s tweet, he responded by sharing a first-hand account of the experience:

“In the morning, my 3-year-old patient told me that her stuffed owl, HoooMe, recently had an accident, broke her wing, and just hasn’t been the same,” Beck said. “I told her that I’d return later to help fix HoooMe’s wing. After I was finished with my daily tasks, I gathered some materials to create a cast for HoooMe. The smile on my patient’s face after we finished the cast was the highlight of my clinical year at @StanfordMed.”

Nikollette and HoooMe have returned home and are healing. According to her father, Nikollette is checking HoooMe’s vitals and regularly assessing the owl stuffy’s progress as prescribed by Beck.

“Sometimes, the difference between a good doctor and a great doctor is bedside manner,” Nikolas said. “Dr. Thomas Beck, you sir will be a GREAT doctor, and GREAT father.”


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