Denial vs Hope: Confronting Cancer

I heard this amazing TED talk by Amanda Bennett on the topic of denial and living with cancer.

I can’t stop thinking about this statement in her talk:

“So what the experts call “denial,” I call “hope,” and I’d like to borrow a phrase from my friends in software design. You just redefine denial and hope, and it becomes a feature of being human. It’s not a bug. It’s a feature.”

It just makes sense. I try to be clear and honest with my patients and their families. I provide the most up-to-date information, data, treatment options etc. Sometimes this is overwhelming, frustrating and with no clear right answers. However, I always want to leave the consultation with hope. Hope that everyone in my life can live their life to the fullest.

Reflecting on High Quality Surgical Care

Crossing the Quality ChasmOver the last several months, I have been thinking about how we can deliver consistent, high-quality surgical care to your patients. In 2001, the Institute of Medicine produced a report titled, Crossing the Quality Chasm. In this report, they state: “The current care systems cannot do the job. Trying harder will not work. Changing systems of care will.” Now, 15 years later, this still holds true. We have witnessed fundamental change in our health care system with Obamacare. We have also witnessed a groundswell of change in quality improvement initiatives at the hospital, regional, state, and national levels. I have seen a culture of safety permeate through our hospital. I am proud of this culture shift but we have a long way to go. In the next decade, team-based approaches are required for success and will lead to meaningful long-lasting improvements in health care quality and outcomes.