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Fixin' Healthcare

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Orientation and Direction

A year goes and another comes. Reviewing the past is often done to put a fine point on progress but I do not look back to measure progress. Orientation and direction are what I seek. It is a matter of what and why more than where, when and how much or how far, but it is a road map nonetheless. Progress is of little value if it is not in the correct or desired direction, as well as the right distance or amount. When the unknown exceeds the known, as it so often does, process occupies the center of attention with the expectation that process, properly executed, will lead to a designated goal. But the value of process is determined by periodic evaluation of orientation and direction. It is easy to be lost and not know it.

Looking back for orientation and direction can refresh the wisdom gained from experience and cultivate the humility that comes with recognition of life as a mystery. The correct or desired direction can change and the change can be subtle at the start but drastic over time. For example, it can make a huge difference whether the goal of a health system is the best health status possible or the best medical care possible.

After fifty-one years of active involvement in various aspects of the medical profession, I seek orientation and direction to understand better the basis of good health and the role medical care serves in achieving and maintaining good health. It might seem after fifty-one years to be an odd quest but the issues are complex and I surely believe the answers have eluded American society with tragic consequences.   

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