CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — March 25-31 is National Physicians Week. It’s a time doctors across the nation are recognized for their commitment to putting their patients’ needs first.

Dr. Raymond McCue, the Chief Medical Officer at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, says the pandemic played a pivotal role in healthcare.

He said COVID-19 outbreaks shined a light on health discrepancies within certain patient demographics.

McCue says burnout among healthcare workers was more highlighted during the pandemic, but it was also an issue doctors experienced before COVID-19.

However, McCue said since Hampton Roads is the home to the biggest Naval base in the world, local physicians are always prepared for any viruses that could come from overseas.

He said although the week is dedicated to physicians, doctors can’t do what they do without the support of others.

“We saved lives well before the pandemic, we will stay after. But when you look at those dramatic stories, of how we saved lives, that is always a team event,” McCue said. “Every member of the team makes a difference in the patient’s outcome, it’s not just the doctors.”

McCue said Chesapeake Regional Healthcare can always use more doctors.

“Another significant pressure point during the pandemic was the need for more staff. And we’re making up those numbers. We’re getting back to where we were,” he said.

He said the biggest need is within acute facilities and nursers.

“Patients are sicker. We have more complicated diagnoses,” McCue said.

He said anyone interested in becoming a doctor should “do it.”

“Start now. Plan it. There are so many opportunities for healthcare right now,” he said.