A notorious doctor yelled at my friend, another doctor, “Why don’t you step outside so we can settle this?!”
Two hundred and fifty doctors at the OMA council meeting had watched the angry doc march across the front of the auditorium. His red face, clenched fists and raised voice gave him the spotlight he craved.
My friend had said something at the microphone. The angry doc took offence. He demanded an apology or else.
I secretly hoped that the little man would attack my friend, so that I could jump to the rescue: like breaking up hockey fight.
There are two kinds of homeowners. The first kind would never change faucets and doorknobs. They buy a house, tear it down and start over.
Other people keep what they can tolerate. They cannot afford to be radical.
No matter the approach, everyone agrees: The point of renovation is to rebuild.
Like an old house, the OMA sprawls with additions, legacy rooms and dark closets unfit for visitors. It’s tired and dysfunctional. Most people finally admit it.
The OMA was never built to service 42,000 members. It was not designed to command a battle with an activist, majority government in the trenches of social media.
Crisis can bring out the best in people. It often brings out the worst in organizations. The OMA crisis exposed problems that no one talked about when times were good. Continue reading “Time to Rebuild the OMA”
Every doctor has seen or done something horrible to an old, dying patient.
Armed with good intentions, we spot a gasping 95 year old and jump into action. We snap open a laryngoscope blade, hoist her jaw into the air and shove in a tube to relieve her “upper airway obstruction”.
Our technical prowess is matched only by our moral purity. But we accomplish something grotesque and wrong.
Doctors must learn to identify sick patients and how to resuscitate them. But these skills cause harm if doctors do not learn what comes between diagnosis and treatment.
Before treatment, we must ask: Why?
Purpose Before Process
A governance expert entertained a large group of doctors in Toronto this weekend. He summarized a graduate textbook on board governance in 40 minutes, for a group who had very little board experience.
All great stories include magic. Characters dance around rules or constructs that define their world.
Guess my name and you may keep your child.
Find love before the last pedal falls or remain a Beast forever.
Never say the name of he-who-must-not-be-named, or Death Eaters will find us.
Magic applies to non-fiction, too. We buy books about real, faulty people who win despite their flaws.
We want stories about people struggling and limited in the same way that gravity limits us. Limits and faults make real life and fairy tales come alive. Gravity is magic by another name; no one knows what it is.
A colleague one town over died recently. After 50 years, he had a huge practice.
His patients say that he often called them on Sundays with results. He loved medicine.
He saw 40 patients one day and died the next.
Doctors used to work until they got too blind or dull to carry on. Seeing more patients was the best way to shake off malaise and stay energized. It gave instant rewards, decent pay and didn’t feel like work most of the time.
Today, old docs say that young docs don’t want to work. The old-timers are partly right, but for the wrong reasons.