But, I wanted to share a more sobering experience I had this evening. Today focused on more of the breakdowns in communication, transparency, and trust that cause patient harm. And, then, as if those problems weren’t enough, we ended the day on a video of a litigation commercial for malpractice (he doesn’t wear socks!). It leaves you with a feeling of uneasiness, with a smattering of cynicism and despair sprinkled in there too. Not only do I have to confront a broken system, bad politics, misaligned cultures (and this just within medicine), but I have to do it while some pretty terrible sounding people are trying to take advantage of that and put me out of business? Frankly, it’s enough to make you second guess your career path.
Zhen, who also shared these feelings, and I were discussing this when a quote came to my mind. It comes from a book by Lev Grossman, and I can’t give it to you perfectly, but the gist is ‘A hero doesn’t go on the adventure; a hero makes the sacrifice’.
This week, this town, this experiences has been a fantastic adventure. Days like today, though, remind me that being a hero isn’t fun, that it requires sacrifice. I only hope that when it comes time to be a hero for my patients, I have the courage and strength to make those sacrifices: of my ego, my time, my assumptions, etc.