Culture for Change

The first day of Telluride has been an amazing experience filled with great ideas and thought provoking conversation.  However, throughout the day I became increasingly worried.  How could I bring this information back to my home institution to impact real change when just a couple days ago my colleagues could not understand why I would want to attend something like a patient safety conference?  A simple yet resounding comment at the end of our first day gave me my answer.  “Put the patient first.”  Of course this is obvious.  We all entered health care so we could help patients but somehow we lose sight of this to some extent.  We are taken over by fear of not succeeding in our professional endeavors or of losing the respect of our colleagues if we are wrong.  If we think of the patient as we would a family member or a friend, though, we put this fear second, and the patient takes their rightful place as top priority.  I believe this thought is one that many health care professionals must be reminded of in order for us to create the culture we need to achieve change.