What would you like to believe things could be?
A woman physician who is a leader of large health care organiations told me not to spend time focused on how things are.
Yes, we must be aware of how things are right now, to have a solid ground, footing, and foundation in where stand at this moment in time.
Yet, we must live as if we can see and believe in the more aspirational future of how things could be.
One of the best known illustrations of this is Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream speech.
He did not focus on what was, he focused on what could be.
John Lennon and the Beatles song Imagine captivated the world.
Just imagine, for a moment, what medicine has the potential to be.
Imagine a world where healers could focus on healing.
Imagine a world in which you were able to focus on the reason you went into medicine, to help people.
Imagine a world that was unrushed, unhurried, and you never worried about running late, productivity, or patient reviews. Imagine being present in the room with a patient without feeling you have to rush out to get to the next person. Imagine an empty in box.
Imagine enough time for vacation. Imagine eating lunch without charting. Imagine always being caught up.
Imagine a world where we have compassion for ourselves, for our patients, for our colleagues.
Imagine a world where the health care system sees doctors as human beings too and our suffering is minimized in every way possible.
Imagine a world where physician distress, burnout, depression, and suicide is no longer epidemic.
Imagine a world where people who spent a dozen years training aren’t spending their lives constantly daydreaming about leaving medicine.
Imagine a world where every day we are reminded that we love what we do and are honored to be a part of this noble profession. Where we don’t have to sacrifice ourselves for others. Imagine a world where we actually enjoy this life we worked so hard to create.
I am going to purposefully choose to see things not as they are but how they could be.
I believe in a future of medicine that we, our students, and our children would enjoy.
I believe if anyone can do it, we can.
We are some of the hardest working and thoughtful people on the planet. We have capability, and strength. I fully believe where there is a will there is a way. There must be a way. We just haven’t found it yet. We will. We have to.
I believe there still is no more noble profession and I am honored to be a part of it and happy to be a part of the generation that becomes the change we wish to see in the world of medicine.