A Doctor Retires, but Continues the Fight

Originally published on The Boston Globe.

The beautiful baby girl fidgets in her mother’s lap as the kindly doctor with a stethoscope around her neck approaches her tiny patient with the affection of a doting grandmother who’s just popped in for a visit.

“OK, my little friend,’’ the doctor says as 10-month-old Alana Nguyen suddenly yawns. “Are you tired? I don’t blame you.’’

That gentle examination the other day at Boston Medical Center was a simple one that Dr. Deborah A. Frank has performed thousands of times across a storied career that now approaches another watershed.

What she has seen — what she has done — has informed her hands-on, no-nonsense practice of medicine, taking care of those who sometimes seem invisible to the more comfortable, the privileged among us from whom she has coaxed — if not demanded — compassion.