Monday, October 1, 2012

What Happened To Hope?

I scratched my head as I pulled into the parking lot of the hospital clinic.  There were quite a number of cars for a Sunday morning.  I watched a young woman and man (I presumed husband and wife) making their way towards the front entrance.  There was a certain hope in their movements. 

Of course!  It must have been the fertility clinic weekend.  About once a month, dozens of couples come to be artificially inseminated.  Or at least that's what I figure.  I've never actually asked what goes on in the clinic.  I'm just guessing.

This rush of optimistic people seemed strangely peculiar amongst the back drop of the gloomy, voluminous hospital.  Enclosed in the concrete walls of this massive building was almost every type of pain and suffering imaginable. 

I began to wonder, what happened to hope?

It seems that medical centers should feel like spaces of great opportunity.  It's where you go to have your disease cured, your broken arm set, or your life saved.  And when the outcomes will be more dire, it's the place to have your pain palliated,  your hand held, and where you come to die embraced in the compassionate bosom of those who have dedicated their lives to doing such work.

Sound a little pie in the sky?  Maybe it shouldn't! I've been a great component of physicians re branding.  I think it's time we started to tell our stories about what happens behind the stethoscope in an attempt to humanize; to inoculate our patients against the growing furor against us.

Hospitals are facing the same crisis.  Under Medicare's gun and hounded by malpractice lawyers, the loss of identity is staggering.  Once a pillar of the community, today's medical center is under increasing fire.

There are such great opportunities, and so much room for improvement.  Let's get back to practicing high quality, patient centered, no strings attached care of our community.

Do we have to wait for some guy in a suit with an MBA to spur us to change?

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