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Stanford Surgery’s decorating contest brings cheer to doctors working over the holidays

Stanford Medicine hosted an office decorating contest to help share the holiday spirit for those who have to work between Christmas and New Year's.

Each door is festooned with tinsel. Each desk is dusted with snow. An evergreen adorned with red and silver stands in the center of the room and handcrafted paper chains bedeck each hall. While this may seem reminiscent of someone’s home, a mall display, or even Santa’s Workshop, it's actually the main office of Stanford’s Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

For the first time, each office and suite in the Departments of Surgery and Emergency Medicine is bedazzled to celebrate the season.

“Decorating for the holidays promotes teamwork, creative thinking, and increased morale in the workplace,” Blair Feldman, general surgery division manager, explained. “We used the faces of our faculty and staff as the ornaments on our DIY tree; it’s a little weird, a lot funny, and it reinforces the idea that we’re all one team.”

While university employees are treated to a two-week winter closure, a little more than half of Stanford’s surgical residents work through Christmas and New Year’s.

“There are attending surgeons and residents from various disciplines across the department on call for surgical emergencies throughout the holidays,” said Peter Than, MD, general surgery chief resident, who was tasked with creating this year’s on-call holiday spreadsheet.

The Department of Surgery decided to host a holiday decorating contest to provide a festive space for those clinicians who aren't able to go home or celebrate with family and loved ones this year.

Anonymous judges rated each division’s décor based on creativity, quality of construction, design, and attention to theme; and the winners were announced at the department potluck earlier this week. But, “I didn’t do it for the competition,” said Rosaline Azarian, an administrative assistant in the Division of Vascular Surgery. “I just wanted to make our office space look nice for the holiday season and bring joy to everyone who works here.”

Photo by Rachel Baker

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