“Yes I get by with a little help from my friends
With a little help from my friends”
-John Lennon and Paul McCartney
My indispensable assistant, Tatianna, opposes cloning. I have a lot of jobs to perform right now—directing the residency, planning the pandemic response, recruiting interns, teaching, caring for patients, making it home for dinner, etc.—so cloning myself might seem like a reasonable option. But Tatianna opposes cloning. “Remember Dolly, the sheep” she warns. And she’s right, I don’t want to emulate a farm animal. For now, I’ll stay one-of-a-kind, and you can decide if that’s a good thing or not.
With the barnyard door closed, I’ll turn to a better one- the one that opens to my residency friends. Though Thanksgiving is still a week-and-a-half off, I want to share some gratitude today, to all of you for keeping the program thriving.
First, thank you for making the first recruitment week successful. The virtual dinners were a hit; as many residents attended as did applicants. The morning reports were riveting and, with Brett’s brilliant navigation, we sailed smoothly through the interviews and breakout sessions.
Second, thank you for the stunning resident-led innovations: A new Distinction for Race, Bias, and Advocacy in Medicine; a working group to eliminate 28-hour call; professional recruitment videos; a resident support group. Something new and exciting every day.
Third, thank you for the work being done to combat COVID-19. We’re moving forward: A new, reliable system to distribute PPE; new lunch spaces; more efficient testing procedures; plans for humane staffing models; weekly town-hall meetings to ensure transparency. The months ahead will challenge us, but this team is ready.
Finally, thank you for maintaining our core commitment to patients. Every day I hear from attendings, fellows, and nurses about something wonderful a resident has done: how a resident managed a huge influx of admissions, uncovered a subtle exam finding, guided a family through a gut-wrenching decision, or held the hand of a frightened patient. Nothing makes me prouder.
What’s especially gratifying is that your spectacular work proceeds organically, requiring no significant oversite, propelled by your inner engines.
Finally, I’m thankful for Tatianna’s wisdom. She’s right. With so many capable friends ready and able to help, we’ll get by. There’s no need for cloning.
Have a restful Sunday, everyone. Mark
PS The Atlantic has some of the best Coronavirus writing around. Here are some recently published articles:
- No One Is Listening to Us: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/11/third-surge-breaking-healthcare-workers/617091/
- Paging Dr. Hamblin: Should I Fly?: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/07/paging-dr-hamblin-flying-safe/614155/
- It’s Time to Hunker Down: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/11/lock-yourself-down-now/617106/
- For a Vaccine to Save Lives, Society Has to Make Some Decisions: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/11/science-working-society-needs-step-up/617107/
PPS Happy Diwali to everyone (and a picture of Dr. Juthani’s family celebrating yesterday)