From The Chairman
The Death of a Community
As a physician, the loss of life, especially young life, is tragic. As I watched the events in Ferguson, Missouri, unfold on my television, something caught my eye that seemed lost in all the devastation and chaos. As the reporter was speaking, there in the background was a looted business. The banner over the garage-style doors read, "Free Brakes for Life." The business had been ransacked, their inventory stolen, their equipment ruined.
If you were not at the PD summit this month, you have to log into the website and watch the videos of Dr. Thompson, Dr. Klein, Dr. Upegui and Dr. Purrington. Ladies and gentlemen, I was blown away! The amount of talent on the stage was nothing short of breathtaking. Watch these lectures. I know it takes time, but I promise it will be worth it. Invest in yourself, or no one else will. Dr. Thompson was in my office a few minutes ago, and we were talking about ways to increase collaboration with our partners in the Emergency Department. He told me that when he was seeing patients in Grants Pass, Oregon (Apogee's first program outside Arizona), he would walk in and proudly announce, "No one get up, it’s okay, please continue with the great work you are doing."
There is a big difference between procrastination and motivation. They really are opposite ends of the same spectrum. We have all put off things that we should do. In my case, if not for the night before the test, I would have flunked out of college. Amazing what you can do in a small amount of time if you set your mind to it. In fact, if not for the "last minute," I don't believe most things in life would ever get done. So even procrastinators are capable of moments of brilliance. The opposite of that is someone who is intrinsically motivated. We all know them,: they were the kids who did their homework as soon as they got home, the people who get up and go to the gym even after being out late the night before.
I gave a talk last year at the November PD Summit about two things. I referenced that talk while at the PD Summit last week. Since then I have gotten several inquiries as to exactly what are those two things. It then occurred to me that we have a lot of new PDs since last November and that folks other than the PDs might be interested as well. Combine that with the fact this article is due tomorrow and you have the makings of a newsletter article.
Back when I was a resident I had the pleasure of working with a brilliant neurosurgery resident who in addition to being a West Point Graduate held half dozen patents. He was always carrying around these 3x5 note cards.
This one word permeates shelves in a book store like termites in a lumber yard. However, unlike other words this particular word stands above the rest. By itself it is a goal, a destination, an attitude, something that can't be learned, something we are either born with or without.
Far from a word, it is one word that can give life meaning and then also make life meaningful. It is how we would all like to be remembered. It is one word that has no negative connotation. It is pure.
This is late…I did not do my homework. It may be a big surprise to you, but I am just like everyone else: I sometimes procrastinate. Or in this case, I wait for inspiration. It has not come yet. If you want to stop reading right now, you probably will not miss anything.
Someone once said to me, "Writers write." I have always said, "Leaders lead." Most days I am a leader; tonight I am a writer. I do trust that there is a lesson in each of these sayings. Doers do; they do not pontificate.