"The Good Samaritan" by Ferdinand Hodler

“Ultimately, the Secret Quality is Love”

A dinner in Minnesota born from the experience of the MedConference was a new beginning for Tom’s work.

Recently I went to dinner at a friend’s house. She had attended the MedConference in Montreal and wanted to share her experience. We had dinner with around twenty people, most of whom I did not know. Our group ranged from seasoned doctors to a high school student considering a career in nursing. Our work ranged from surgery to psychology to pediatrics.

We began by reading a quote from the CL med conference:

Ultimately, the secret of quality is love. You have to love your patient, you have to love your profession, you have to love your God…If you have love, you can then work backward to monitor and improve the system." Avedis Donabedian, M.D., M.P.H.

Despite not knowing each other well, our conversation flowed effortlessly with so much sharing it was at times hard to get a word in edgewise. We discussed our love for what we do and why we do it. We talked about the struggles of our jobs day-to-day and the time constraints of productivity in current healthcare. I left that night with a sense of pride and purpose; a spirit of gratitude knowing that I had just received something. People that I didn't even know, there, helping me in my daily life. It was a chance to step outside the normal day, see my life from a different perspective, and to share that with others who believe like I do. I realized that when I am having a conversation with a patient that is not going well, it is usually because of me. When I take the time to stop and restart in the conversation, reorienting my focus on loving the patient in my brief time with them, suddenly caring for them as if they were my family becomes possible. The dinner was fun, instructive, and a new beginning for my day-to-day life in modern healthcare and I am grateful.

Tom, Crosby, MN