Donor profile: Shirish Patel, M.D.
Dr. Patel has traveled the world, worked with Mother Teresa, volunteered with the global charity Mercy Ships, delivered babies for the richest celebrities and provided free care to the poorest villages. His passion for medicine is matched only by his desire to teach future generations the importance of compassionate care.
How did you come to work with Mother Teresa in India?
I used to fly a lot and I met her on different occasions in the airport. Every time she used to give me a bunch of envelopes to mail out. There's no such thing as coincidence in our language, so after the sixth time, I approached her and said, "It seems that destiny is trying to tell me that I have to do something with you." She said, "It must be so; why don't you come and help?"
Why did you choose your specialty?
I went into OB/GYN because motherhood is so unique. The feeling of doing something great is always there, especially when you bring a new life. And who knows? I may have delivered a future leader.
You did bring in one of Clint Eastwood's children.
Yes, at Mercy Medical Center in Redding. I saw him and just whistled that song [he laughs, and whistles the theme from the "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"].
Have you ever had a baby named after you?
Yes, quite a few actually. One just sent me an email that she's been appointed to the United Nations. I send them pictures of sunsets and sunrises. We have that togetherness.
Do you have a Facebook page?
That's how they found me! The world is so small now. We think we are different, but ultimately we are all the same.
What's your favorite quotation?
"The brotherhood of mankind under the fatherhood of God."
If you could be granted one wish, what would it be?
To teach the young ones the philosophy of life. When I do my teaching rounds, I teach the medical residents at Oregon Health & Science University how to treat the patient and the patient's family — to share their grief and share their happiness. If the patient is crying, you cry with the patient. We have to do more of that. That's what Providence is all about.
Why have you given a bequest to Providence Milwaukie Foundation?
I want my kids to follow the footsteps. You have to give back —your power, your time, your thoughts, your smile. If all that is there, money will come in its own way.