Stopping by Woods on a Sunny Evening

What if we lived in a blame free world where everyone could openly admit to their mistakes? How would the world of health care be different if we took the time to learn from one anothers mistakes before we are doomed to inevidably repeat them?

Walking down a narrow dirt path along the water, I couldn’t help but feel dwarfed by the snow capped giants above me. Among these natural pillars of the earth, our time on this planet can feel smaller then a speck of dust. Thinking about the stories Lewis Blackman and Michael Skolnik, I began to think that in an average lifespan of 42,048,000 minutes (approximately 80 years), if we spent just a fraction of those minutes pausing to have open and honest crucial conversations with our patients, we can singlehandedly save dozens of lives over our careers before ever prescribing a medication or lifting a scalpel.

Unfortunately, being open and honest in a society that is judgmental, punitive, litigious and obsessed with perfection is not so easy even for the bravest of us.  Although that we would all like to think that we will uphold every tenant of the Hippocratic Oath no matter the circumstance, how many of us would really be willing to speak up and take ownership of our actions when the cards are stacked so highly against us. These last two days make me hopeful that we with fresh minds and faces, we can shift the direction of the wind away from the commandership of the past and towards  a culture of transparency true collaborative leadership.

Although I’m convinced that it is much easier to be idealistic while surrounded by such great minds and breathtaking natural beauty, we must strive to keep up our momentum after this inspiring week until we turn that weathervane.