Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Reflections in Medicine and Medical Education 2014

2014 has been a tumultuous year, especially in medicine.  Frustrations with electronic health record systems, the Ebola virus, reactions to the Ebola virus, response to the new MOC requirements, burnout, and many others all contributed to the complexities that exist in medicine.  In medical education, questions like "what do the milestones really mean?" are common thoughts emanating from educators.  I'm not even touching Entrustable Professional Activities either!

Our school also passed a new conflict of interest policy.  I was privileged to lead this effort in 2014, and, despite unanimous approval of the policy in less than a year, I continue to get more questions "what about my situation?  Is that ok?"

In short, it is a tough time to be in medicine, no doubt.  Increased fear of being sued, decreased reimbursement, more regulatory requirements, and the uncertainty of exactly where medicine is going make for challenging times.

So how do people cope with this?  

Some choose to go "nose to the grindstone" and work harder.
Some decide to "call it quits" and leave medicine.
Some opt to "fight back", through advocacy in the form of blogs saying "enough is enough".
Some take a step back and say "at least I have a job and job security".
Some are put off by the "it's a job" phrasing, opting for "it's a profession, and unfortunately it is slowly eroding".

I know that resiliency is a helpful trait to handle all the changes, but still, I don't have all the answers.  I strongly believe that in the end, what I do matters, to learners, to patients, and to future learners and patients.  What trainees do matters.  What doctors and other healthcare professionals do matters.

That, coupled with blessings of continued good health, allows me a little peace in a hectic world moving at a frenetic pace.  Just try to search for your own similar peace.

Happy Holidays to All!