LAYTON -- Dr. D. Glen Morrell recalls treating a young mother who, in the prime of her life, received a devastating diagnosis of breast cancer.
Her world was turned upside down, Morrell said, and she was worried about her family and what the future held for her children. How would she explain to them the seriousness of her disease and that it might kill her? It turns out, she never had to. Because she was diagnosed early and received surgery and appropriate treatment, she is now doing well and continues to raise her children.
This is just one of Morrell's heartwarming memories, and the rewards like this one that come with the job make it worth the sometimes excruciating hours, the general surgeon said.
Morrell's obvious love for his profession is one of the many reasons he was recently chosen as Davis County's Doctor of the Year.
"Improvement of a patient's condition is often very dramatic after surgery," Morrell said. "It is very gratifying when individuals feel so much better after recovering from surgery or are relieved to have a cancer removed."
Morrell loves his job, and it shows, said Jayne Edgren Taylor, a member of the Davis County Medical Alliance.
"He is an excellent surgeon who cares very much about his patients," Taylor said.
"He has also been highly involved as president of the medical staff at Davis Hospital and Medical Center. Last year, he was president of the Utah Medical Association, which involves a great amount of work and dedication."
Morrell was given the award in February during a Valentine's Day dinner sponsored by the Davis County Medical Alliance. The award puts him in the running for the Utah Doctor of the Year Award, which will be presented later this year.
"To be recognized by my peers with whom I work day in and day out is most gratifying," Morrell said.
"I realize that many dedicated men and women sacrifice much to care for and help the sick and injured. I hope in some way my efforts reflect well on the practice of medicine and that I represent the wonderful work of a physician and practice of medicine."
Morrell, 47, was born and raised in Brigham City. After graduating from Box Elder High School, he earned a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University.
He went on to graduate from University of Utah Medical School and serve his general surgery residency at the University of Kansas, Wichita School of Medicine. He is a partner at Tanner Clinic and performs surgery at Davis Hospital and Medical Center and Davis Surgical Center.
A typical day for Morrell begins before most people are awake. After exercising and spending time with his wife and seven children, he heads to the office to begin surgery at 6:30 a.m. His day typically ends between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
While Morrell cherishes the good moments in his profession, there are memorable cases that sadden and frustrate him to this day.
"As a resident, we were called to the ER for a Level I trauma. As the patient arrived, we were told that he had a gunshot wound to the chest," Morrell remembered.
"EMS reported that (the injured man had been) driving home from work and felt sudden chest pain. He thought he (was having) a heart attack."
In reality, Morrell said, the man had been caught in the crossfire of a gang fight.
"We did all that we knew how with some fairly heroic procedures, but the patient died. It seemed so senseless. A young mother was left widowed and small children without a father."
When he isn't working, Morrell enjoys watching his children's sports events, dances, and drama and music events. He also enjoys working on family history, drawing, painting, skiing and backpacking.
"Many are concerned about the future of medicine because of the worries of escalating costs, possible further government control or intrusion and rising costs of medical education," Morrell said.
"I trust that good people will rise up and find solutions to these problems and more effective ways to provide better medical care for all. I'm especially optimistic because of the bright and capable young people of the upcoming generation.
"To me, with the great knowledge and technologies available to us, the future of medicine looks very bright."