Getting Back to 'Why'

Premier Pulse     December 2021

1134192644By Andre Harris, MD, chief medical officer, Atrium Medical Center

Most medical professionals enter  d into the practice with a specific “why.” A nurse may say her why was a calling to help patients. A respiratory therapist may have struggled with asthma as a child and was inspired by the field. A physician may have been influenced by an experience that opened her eyes to this noble profession. Most of us had a “why.” COVID-19 has stressed that “why” for several of us. Many medical professionals have been overwhelmed, burned out, or have left the profession altogether. Those who have stayed are dealing with the stress of rising patient admissions, decreasing staff support, and a pandemic that seems to produce a variant du jour every month.

For Premier Health to succeed, I believe everyone needs to rediscover their “why.” A childhood memory may not be enough to sustain you in 2022. Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” is a great read that deals with this issue. In his preface, he likely embodies the thoughts of many health care workers. “I had fallen out of love with my work and found myself in a very dark place. There was nothing wrong with the quality of my work or my job, per se; it was the enjoyment I had for that work that I’d lost.” We know what we do: provide health care. We even know how to perform the task (the pandemic gave us plenty of practice). We need to step back and focus on why.

Our organization’s future is found in the why. I believe that as we reset our “why” for 2022, we can find renewed vigor and focus. We can deliver high-quality, safe, and compassionate care that sets us apart in the region.

Back to the December 2021 issue of Premier Pulse