Day 1: “Supposed to?”

Have you ever just looked around you and thought: “right here, today, right now, this is where I’m supposed to be?”

Now, I have a funny relationship with the phrase “supposed to.” I don’t really like it, because I feel as if it can be misconstrued and too much weight can be placed upon it. I feel as if sometimes people begin to rely on it in order to back away from decision-making or as a cop out. I don’t like the phrase “supposed to” because I feel like God can use our choices regardless of where they take us. However, at the same time, there are distinct moments in my life, that I know I had no plan in orchestrating; and this is one of them.

Honestly, I was pretty terrified to accept a position at the 2018 Napa Telluride Conference. I had never heard of anyone else attending, and due to a curriculum change at my institution, I would be missing the entire second week of my M2 year and the first test. That’s a lot of work to keep up with, and you know how paranoid med students can be! But I was pushed to go, both internally and my by curriculum director who was very willing to work with me.

So now, why do I say I feel like I am supposed to be here? Well, it honestly comes down to a single person, Miss Lisa. We were paired to introduce each other prior to the conference and it is crazy how we have connected. Our life stories are so very similar, and we have been dealing with very similar struggles. As someone who is just breaking into the medical profession, it is so intriguing to hear her perspectives because she has been in nursing for 16 years in one way or another. It is especially interesting to hear about her interactions with physicians.

One of my long-term goals is to be the doc that no one hesitates to reach out to when I’m on call. I want to be the doctor that the senior nurses encourage their student nurses to call because “she’s so nice.” I want to be the kind of doctor that people are happy to see on the schedule because they know it’ll be a good shift.

I think one of the best and easiest ways to achieve patient safety is starting with the people who are working there each and every day. What would it look like if the doctors and nurses were friends? And not just like work-friend, but I mean like actual friends? What would it look like if we cared about each other, not just for the duration of the shift we were working, but about them as a human being? What if we learned to embrace one another both as a person and for their unique role in the healthcare industry? I believe that will break through into our work lives- how we speak to each other, how we speak about one another, how we interact with each other, and ultimately how we care for people together.