LAYTON -- Patients in the emergency room are usually under a lot of stress, anxiety or pain.
For Dr. Shay Holley, the most satisfying part of his job is to provide care, compassion and comfort to all those patients.
Holley is an emergency room physician at Davis Hospital and Medical Center, where he recently received the Dr. Robert F. Bitner Award, an annual recognition that honors physician excellence.
The employee-nominated award, named after Dr. Robert F. Bitner, who retired in 1996 after 43 years of practicing medicine at Davis Hospital, is presented to a physician at Davis Hospital who has exhibited the highest standards of quality patient care in fulfillment of his or her Hippocratic Oath.
"Dr. Holley looks beyond the physical ailment and sees the whole person, treating him or her as he would a family member, which is an invaluable trait in the emergency room," said Davis Hospital CEO Mike Jensen. "Dr. Holley puts patients first and does what is necessary for their health and comfort. This commitment to excellence and people is what we honor with the Bitner award."
Holley said the people he treats and works with provide the rewards in his job.
"Medicine is a people profession," he said. "And that's why I chose it. I'm humbled to be honored by my peers in this way, and the award adds a little excitement to my experience as a physician."
Holley, who also works as an emergency room physician at Ogden Regional Medical Center, was born in Ogden and raised in Slaterville.
After serving a mission to Osaka, Japan, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Holley graduated from Weber State University and the University of Utah School of Medicine. He completed a medical residency at Akron City Hospital in Akron, Ohio. Holley and his wife, Erin, have five children.
Holley said emergency medicine is always changing.
"No day is ever the same," he said. "It requires someone who can think on their feet, multitask to the nth degree and care for some of the sickest patients in all of medicine. I believe emergency medicine is the most challenging specialty in the entire house of medicine."
Holley said it is unsettling to patients when they have to go to the emergency room.
"Emergency physicians do their best to relieve pain, provide expertise in diagnosing conditions, directing treatments, answering questions, providing comfort and minimizing waits for care," he said. "ER work is hard. The demands of the position are stressful."
Holley said it is important to have an outlet to relax and rejuvenate. He said working in the yard or the garden and spending time with family help him to unwind when he isn't at work.
Holley said Bitner was a wonderful physician who was still practicing 17 years ago when Holley came back to Utah.
"I was able to witness the professionalism, care and compassion that he provided to his patients," Holley said, "Examples like Dr. Bitner are invaluable to us all. I don't perceive this as an award for myself but one for the staff of the emergency department at Davis Hospital."