What is the most valuable resource in health care? In clinics, in same day surgery centers, in hospitals, in any health care system?
Is it the brand new MRI or PET scanner? The DaVinci robot? The dialysis center? The Intensive Care Unit?
The answer is very clear.
Yet nearly always overlooked and underappreciated.
Without physicians, the system comes to a screeching halt.
We are not hamsters in a wheel to generate RVUs.
We are human beings, uniquely trained, and capable of connecting with other human beings in their most difficult times, called upon to do whatever it takes to care for people in their times of need.
We have capabilities that were almost unimaginable to physicians a generation or two ago.
We can take the heart or lungs out of one human being and put them into another.
We can cure previously incurable pediatric cancers.
But tell me, if it’s your chest that is being opened, or if it’s your child’s health at stake, wouldn’t you like your physician to be well rested? To be focused and present? To take as much time as they needed?
We must care for our physicians so that they can show up as their best selves for every patient who needs them.
If physicians had to wear a badge that said how many hours they had been on duty, would you allow a physician in their 24th hour to operate on you? I don’t think so. Me either.
So…let’s start to treat our most valuable resource like the most valuable resource.