Cards and Letters from Miriam’s patients

Dozens of Miriam’s patients spontaneously wrote cards and letters when she announced in the fall of 2000 that she would be leaving her practice at the Spadina Health Centre.
Patients’ names and identifying information have been removed.

Dear Miriam,
Before you leave and I lose track of you I want to write and say how sorry I am that you are having to leave your practice and to thank you for being such a wonderful family doctor to us for the past 20 years. You have always been empathetic and have shown such respect and caring for both of us. You are a very special physician and I hope you will find another niche that suits you well. We need you practising medicine.
I wish you the very best and I hope things will sort out soon.
With warmest regards.


This is a small note of thanksgiving for the wonderful support you have given to me and to my son these past two decades, through many stages of our lives. You are everything we all dream a doctor could be, caring, committed, skillful and a great listener!
Best wishes for the next stage in your own life.
Heartfelt thanks,

For 16 of the 17 years I’ve been in Toronto you have been the one constant in my life. Thanks. You’ve also been the best doctor I’ve ever had!

Dear Dr. Garfinkle,
It was with great sadness that I read your letter of retirement. I have found a replacement Doctor, but I doubt very much that she will replace your shoes fully. Thank you very much for taking such good care of me during our 19 years of growing to know each other.

Dear Miriam:
Thank you for being there for me in my time of need. You have the rare ability to make a stressful situation something I can manage.

Thank you for taking care of my girls and I. We will miss you dearly. We hope to connect with you again in the new future. Thanks again.

Dear Miriam,
We couldn’t have survived without you in our lives! Thank you for your generous advice and gentle manner in your approach to family health care. During the 20 years you have been part of the birthing and raising experience of my children, not to mention the personal need I’ve had in making some valuable decisions around my personal health and wellness.
Miriam, you will be greatly missed by our family. We also love you!

Dear Miriam,
We were so busy talking about kids, I feel I didn’t thank you properly for all your excellent medical care of the last 18 years.
So, thanks for your expertise and especially nurturing care. I’ll miss you as my doctor, but completely understand and wish you all the very best.

Dearest Miriam,
Thank you for all your loving care through the years. We all are very lucky to have a doctor like you. With love,

Dear Miriam,
A borrowed philosophy – “Work like you don’t need the money. Dance like nobody’s watching. And love like you’ve never been hurt.”
I am going to miss you like crazy – but, I wish you well and much much more. My love,

Dearest Miriam,
I am sad for the most selfish of reasons. Herein, know that I have truly believed and still do, that you exemplify all that is caring. I truly wish you the best and know you must do as you have decided. Nonetheless, I am SAD! I wish you the greatest fortune – always.

Dear Dr. Garfinkle,
Everyone should be as lucky as I was to have such a kind and caring doctor.
Best of luck.

Dearest Miriam,
Thank you for all your loving care over the 24 years. You are a very special human being and a wonderful and caring and responsible doctor.
I know that we will always stay in touch in the upcoming years.
Wish you only the best to the ones you love.

Dear Miriam,
As one of your earliest patients, I want to express my gratitude for all you have done for me over the years. I’ve had my share of medical problems and with each of them you have been exemplary in your diagnosis, treatment and follow-through. You always listened carefully, and I never felt like I was being rushed through. My life has now taken a new course with my daughter’s arrival, and I know there will be much joy in the coming years. I wish you were still my doctor so that I could share it with you. She is such a spark of fun and laughter, and I know you saw that in her too.
Like me, you are now changing your path, going back to your early roots in medicine to work with immigrant women and the homeless. Bravo! I, too, care deeply about the homeless situation, and it is encouraging to hear that you will be lending your considerable talents to their cause.
We will try to visit you sometimes, and we wish you all the best in your new endeavours.

Dear Dr. Garfinkle,
I just wanted to say thanks for the very thoughtful and professional care you have given me over so many years. I was lucky to find such a caring doctor and will miss you help!!!
I hope whatever your next challenges are, they are exciting and rewarding. I wish you all the best.

thank you so much for your professional and loving care to me for the last 16 1/2 years. And the girls for 11 years. I hope you new plans go well.
with love,

Dear Dr. Garfinkle,
Just a note to let you know I will miss having you as my family doctor.
All the best in your new pursuits.

Miriam, Thank you for your kind care and help.

Dear Miriam,
I received you letter today and wanted to thank you for being a great doctor. I have had you as a doctor since around 1980, and am sorry to see you go.
Thanks again and best wishes for the future!

Dear Miriam,
I have been thinking about you a lot and imagine that this must be a difficult time for you. Mostly I have avoided contemplating losing you as a doctor – where will I find someone who will let me stand on the scale and not tell me how much I weigh, or who will listen to my struggles in psychoanalysis and with might be menopause??

I want to thank you for the wonderful way you have cared for me and mine for so long. I will miss you, professionally and personally! I hope you enjoy your new course in life and I wish you success and much happiness in all your pursuits! If you ever decide to set up shop again I would be thrilled to once again be one of your first patients.
Love & best wishes,

Dear Miriam,
I feel extremely sad to lose you as my doctor. You have all the qualities of a great doctor and I’ll miss you! That said, I wish you the best of luck for the future.

Dr. Garfinkle,
We just wanted to thank you for all the great care you have given us over these past 12 years!
If you do open a practice PLEASE contact us.
You will be missed! Take care and good luck!

Dear Miriam,
I will miss you dearly. When you do start a practice up, please let me know.

Dear Miriam,
We will miss you – you are a great doctor and then some. Good luck in your endeavours. Hope to see you around.
Lots of love,

Dear Miriam,
I feel so fortunate to have had you as my doctor all these years. Although I’ll have a hard time lettering go, I realize that all good things eventually come to an end. I wish you health, happiness and good fortune and thank you so much for being the best doctor anyone would wish for. I’ll miss you.

Dear Dr. Garfinkle,
I can never thank you enough. Your information helped me find the job. It’s very important for me. You are very kind.
Thank you again!

Dear Miriam,
Thank you so much for all the care you have taken of us! We will miss you a lot. We hope we will see you around and we wish you all the best. You have been such an approachable, warm, caring doctor – a gift to us all.
take care,

Dear Miriam,
I have enjoyed having you as my doctor for the past 18 1/2 years. You’ve always been very supportive of me, both medically and emotionally. And you’re gentle during internal exams!
I am sorry that our professional relationship is ending. I wish you well as you explore new paths both personally and professionally.
All the best, Miriam,

Well Miriam –
What can I say – I wish miss you and your caring ways as a doctor, confidante and even friend to me and my family. I hope you are leaving for happy reasons.
In any case, in an odd way, your decision is inspiring.
Guess we’ve grown older together. I wish you all the best and thank you for being there for me.

Dear Miriam,
Thank you for your many years as doctor and friend to my daughter and me. Although you will no longer be our doctor we will continue to think of you as our friend. I appreciate how you have always been there for us – with a last minute appointment when my daughter has come down with the things that children get sick with, to the extra time when I really needed it. You have seen me through some of the best and most difficult times of my life – and I will always remember and think of you fondly.
Good luck with you new endeavours. Your compassion, caring, and professionalism will benefit all those you deal with.

Dr. Miriam Garfinkle,
I just wanted to send you a short note to thank you for your tremendous care over the past 20 years. It was always so nice to receive your personal call back to me in response to a question or concern, always with a “hello, it’s Miriam”.
I am my family wish you well in your future endeavors.

Dr. G:
Wishing you an abundance of blessings.
Trust those who love you will make you feel really special & lavish TLC on you.
I think of you often – fondly – you took such excellent care of me – at the beginning and over the years. My son will be 18 on Saturday – So we have know each other for 18 1/2 years. Wow.

Dr. Miriam,
Thanks for being so caring, thoughtful and considerate to my mom. We don’t have all the words to express what you meant to our mom but you were the light in the darkness and we are grateful for all your help. As mom always says, god bless you and thank you.

Dear Miriam,
I still cannot accept the fact that I am being dumped by my favourite doctor. I’ll probably require some kind of specialist to help me get over the trauma. Please advise.
In all seriousness, we want to thank you for all the care you have given us over the years. We want to thank you and wish you good luck in all your new adventures.
We will miss you.

Dr. G: You have been a positive constant in my life for a long time.
Thanks for compassion and caring
Consider this blessings for your new home.
May it be filled with contentment and laughter.

Dear Dr. Miriam,
I want to thank you for your many kindnesses to me whenever I needed professional help. I don’t know when I will return to Toronto but please keep my records with you wherever you go.
You are such a wonderful Doctor – so kind, considerate and compassionate. You have so much to give. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Dearest Miriam,
Miss you, wish you only the best always, because you are a very special, beautiful human being.

Dear Miriam,
I enjoyed our final farewell “appointment”. Your new career choice sounds very interesting and a change from family practice. Most of our home visiting is with immigrant families and I really enjoy visiting them.
Thank you for all you good care of me over the years – and all our interesting conversations. It’s been a pleasure to know you. All the best for the future.

Dear Dr. Garfinkle,
I’ve known you for over two decades. You’ve been with me from the time I was single as a U of T student, to getting married and having teenage children. You have been much more than a family doctor. You have been supportive, nurturing and caring. We will surely miss you.

Dear Miriam,
Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your care these many years! I also want to send you my best wishes as you go through these stressful times.
Be good to yourself and good luck.

Dear Miriam,
You are loved by many.
May peace and love be the greatest of your holiday season blessings.

Dear Dr. Garfinkle,
We will miss you and we wish you all the best.

Thank you for taking such good care of us over the years. We’ll miss you.

Miriam G,
Thank you so much for all of your support and help through this rough point in my health.

Goodbye, Dr. Miriam!
We will miss you.
A great doctor means:
Sharing my joys and sorrows.
Caring for me since 1981.
Listening and Understanding.
We wish you all the best.

Dear Miriam,
I wish you all the best with you future endeavours. You’re a great person and doctor. You’re a doctor with a heart and a conscience. You have a wonderful approach with your patients. You’re a doctor who sees a patient as a whole person and not just a patient with a symptom. This is a very unique quality nowadays. You have made a difference in many people’s lives and I know you will continue to do so. You’re definitely one of a kind.
I’m happy for you Miriam. You deserve to be happy and to be honoured for who you are. May you find inner peace, joy and love always.
I will definitely miss you. Thank you for being such a good doctor to me and for your support when I needed it. It meant a lot to me.
I hope to see you again. Remember me if you start your own practice again.

Dear Miriam,
I was very sad to hear that you are leaving your practice at the Spadina Health Centre. I can appreciate that it has not been an easy decision.
I want to thank you for all your years of care and I wish you the very best in whatever lies ahead for you.
All the best,

Dearest Dr. G,
Well, it has taken you giving in your notice, to make me realize how much I appreciate you and how much I’m going to miss you!
I don’t know if you are fully aware of how much you have done for me (after all I’ve never mentioned it). So here goes...
You were there for me in the most difficult time of my life. When I could not speak to anyone, I spoke to you. You have me guidance and made me feel normal.
Throughout the years I have trusted you completely with my health because I felt you were not just doing your job. You really cared!
Thanks for everything.
You will be greatly missed!

Dear Dr. Garfinkle,
As well as being an excellent doctor, you have been so kind and supportive of me over the years. I have so much respect for you; and your principles, your ethics, and your thoughtfulness have played a major role in my life, and will continue to do so.
I wish you all the best in the future.
Thanks again