Perhaps, on a philosophical level, the art of introspection is what makes us able to grow and adapt. Our ability to look inwards and reflect deeply on our past and present state is in fact, a difficult task. To ask questions that poke at our core beliefs, ideologies, and take into consideration our weaknesses and strengths to promote change in ourselves is a pivotal notion.
Contemplation requires two prerequisite absolutes, in my opinion. If they are not first resolved makes the matter more of an exercise than a tool for change: Complete honesty, and the death of our egos. The inward gaze is to put a microscope to our vulnerabilities, and a magnifying glass to our faults. Certainly, this can be a painful and thus avoided art.
How the leaders in Patient Safety and Advocacy, and Quality Improvement have become great movers of the minds and hearts of the medical profession makes me proud to be a part of this process. They have mastered the art of introspection, and contemplate with openness and resolve. They have paved our tomorrow with the promise of delivering our trade with integrity, diligence and most of all compassion.