“I was transformed by leading the Obstetrics (OB) Residency at Mercy Health Muskegon for the past 18 years,” said Gus Barkett, DO, who was named as Mentor of the Year for 2019 by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
As one of the dozens of physicians who trained as a resident under Barkett’s guidance, Caitlin Brazda, DO, speaks for the group when she said: “I know I would not be the same OB/GYN physician I am today if I hadn’t been given the privilege to learn from him. And I know so many others who feel exactly the same way, which is why we nominated him for AOA mentor of the year.” Brazda was one of the more than 20 physicians who nominated Barkett.
Barkett officially received the Mentor of the Year Award on October 25, 2019, in front of nearly 3,000 colleagues from across the country. With a 35-year career at Mercy Health beginning in Obstetrics, Barkett switched gears and began leading the OB Residency program at Mercy Health Muskegon in 2001, and recently stepped down from that role in the spring of 2019.
“The time that I have invested in my residents over the past 20 years has been the most meaningful of my career,” Barkett said. “I was transformed by this experience. I invested in the residents, and they invested in me.”
Although he is no longer leading the OB Residency program in Muskegon, Barkett is still imparting his wisdom to others: “If you have the opportunity in your field to teach, you should do it. I know that it takes time, and it takes energy. As a clinician, it diminishes how efficient you are personally, because you aren’t as fast when you have to slow down to help others to learn. But this award really goes to my residents, who have taught me so much.”
To help celebrate his retirement from running the OB Residency program, current and former residents threw a celebration for Barkett in July 2019. More than 150 people from across the country came to honor Barkett’s legacy of mentorship within the obstetrics field.
Along with Brazda, who serves patients at Mercy Health Physician Partners OB/GYN Lakes Village, nearly a dozen OB/GYN physicians trained by Barkett have stayed in West Michigan — just one more example of the enduring role Gus Barkett, DO, has played in the lives of both patients and providers in our communities.