SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento doctor shipping out to New York City on Sunday to support medical teams on the coronavirus frontlines got an emotional surprise send-off from his friends on Saturday.

“I’m going to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens”, says Dr. Eric Gross, of UC Davis Hospital.

Dr. Gross normally spends his time saving lives at UC Davis in the ER unit, but now his skills are on loan to the east coast.

Gross and a handful of medical professionals across California signed up to support New York City hospitals, where staff who are treating COVID-19 patients are being drained on a daily basis.

“I’m going to be working in the ICU, taking care of COVID patients that are very ill”, Dr. Gross said.

So before his Monday morning departure, the doctor’s friends in his martial arts groups decided to give him a surprise send-off to remember outside of his Roseville home.

“One of our members told me that Dr. Gross is leaving so we got to give this man a send-off”, said Amitis Pourarian, a team member at THE STUDIO Martial Arts and Fitness.

While practicing social distancing, all the members of the doctor’s group parked their cars in front of his house, and on a count to three, they all honked their horns. The sound surprised Dr. Gross and he was welcomed outside with heartfelt smiles, signs, and friends just saying “thank you, doc.”

“We’re a giant family, it’s a great community”, Pourarian said.

It was another showing of appreciation to all our medical professionals who put themselves on the frontlines of a pandemic so we can get back to normal times.

“I’m a little nervous but excited to help”, Dr. Gross said.

And just like a doctor, when he heard the sound outside his door, he said his first thought was that there was an accident and he should help.