“That’s what makes me get up and come back when it’s been a bad day. My patients are the best in the world,” he says. “When you have to prepare someone that it’s going to be horrible and you feel like you’ve done nothing for them and they tell you ‘thank you,’ it’s incredibly humbling.”
Though Dr. Cardosi jokes that “not many people will call me humble,” his humility, empathy, and commitment to his patients continue to shine through in his actions, both in and out of the workplace. He and his staff are committed to making him available to all patients whenever they need him, for as long as they need him, even when he has no appointment availability and has to be double and triple booked.
“My patients will tell you I’m often two or three hours behind,” he says. “But, that patient we work into the schedule doesn’t really care what the rest of my schedule is like, she cares about getting seen. That may mean an hour-long appointment in a 15 minutes spot, so therefore I am two hours behind, but the attitude in my office is that people would rather wait a little bit today than wait several weeks to be seen.”
Be a human being. Do your best. Care about people.
While his patients may complain about the wait, they also remember the time he saw them the very next day after they called or the time he spent two hours with them and their family, and they understand.
When Dr. Cardosi wanted to extend this commitment to his patients outside of the office, and into his personal life, he began running marathons in solidarity with them.
“If I’m going to ask my patients to go through surgery, to go through chemotherapy, the least I can do is get in shape and go run a marathon to be supportive of their needs and raise awareness for their illness,” he explains.
However, once he began doing so, he realized that this effort was benefitting himself more than anyone, helping him to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle. For Dr. Cardosi, these benefits truly drove home the point that “when you give back to your community, it will give back to you.”
Dr. Cardosi urges his peers and neighbors to join him in his dedication to giving back to his community, even supporting organizations he may not participate in, but that contribute to the quality of life in Lakeland.
When it comes to a real-time and financial commitment, though, Dr. Cardosi’s passions remain within the medical field. In addition to being a large benefactor of the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Dr. Cardosi is the President of the Watson Clinic Foundation, an organization working to “improve health awareness and the quality of medical care” in the community. The Foundation sponsors special programs and initiatives, from providing electronic defibrillators for the Achievement Academy to gifting VISTE with a car to assist with transportation needs for their elderly clientele. The Foundation’s initiatives impact lives across the state.
In a message of advice for future doctors, Dr. Cardosi reminds them to never forget that every patient is someone’s mother, sister, grandmother…
“You need to be the best. You need to be an expert in your area” he says. “But don’t let that get in the way of being a human being and continuing to care.”
Despite his self-described hard exterior, Dr. Cardosi’s words and action seem to revolve around one solid message: Be a human being. Do your best. Care about people. Give back. — a message all of us should take to heart.