Have you been to see your doctor lately, maybe with a sprained ankle or the flu? Did you thank him or her for their service?

Medicine, like the military, is a call to duty for most, and once that commitment has been made, the player is all in.

Hippocrates had the best outlook on medicine, then and now: "Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.”

Those of us living and working in North County are blessed. We have access to some of the very best medical services and physicians in California — and it’s by design.

A prime example is the Family Medicine Residency Program operated by the Marian Regional Health Center, which actively recruits the very best candidates, skilled health-care professionals who share a common goal — to be the best in their field, and to have unparalleled passion for their work.

Marian opened its 191-bed regional medical center in 2012, and has been building on that state-of-the-art base ever since. The Family Medical Center is the latest addition.

Actually, the folks at Marian have something of an advantage when it comes to recruiting, even as the competition ramps up nationwide because of a severe and worsening doctor shortage. Marian’s edge can be observed on a casual drive around North County, with the mountains on one side and the sparkling Pacific Ocean and its unmatched shoreline on the other side.

Marian’s focus on family medicine is critically important for North County residents, many of whom bring their families here to escape the hustle and bustle of the South Coast — and that region’s staggering housing costs.

The Marian Family Medicine Residency Program offers a three-year, post-graduate stint to the most promising young physicians. The program quickly gained national recognition, primarily for its full-spectrum approach to training in everything from inpatient to urgent-care situations.

Once a doctor graduates from the program, he or she is ready to begin practicing their specialties. In other words, they are ready for just about every family medical situation.

We are avid supporters of Marian Regional Medical Center for many reasons, one of which is that no community can reach its full potential without top-notch medical facilities. Marian is helping this city and region grow into the future.

You can be a part of this journey. This newspaper is partnering with Marian Regional Medical Center for the sixth annual Day of Hope event on Wednesday, April 10.

Literally hundreds of volunteers will spread out across North County communities, standing on street corners, asking motorists passing by to roll down their car windows and buy a $1 Day of Hope newspaper to benefit Mission Hope Cancer Center. Our guarantee is that 100 percent of those Day of Hope proceeds will stay in the community to benefit cancer programs and to support services for local patients and families. You will see volunteers selling papers from 7 a.m. to noon on that Wednesday.

Hope is the operative word. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a British literary jack-of-all-trades, had this to say: “He is the best physician who is the most ingenious inspirer of hope.”

North County residents are truly blessed to have Marian Regional Health Center in their midst, and an opportunity to join in on the Day of Hope is something we all should celebrate.

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