Juggling the responsibilities and opportunities of life with a dose of déjà vu, I arrived in the wee hours of the morning back at hotel for the conclusion of OHPF orientation. Though disappointed to have missed an epic day complete with art museum analysis – speaking my love language in an event that marries two seemingly unrelated concepts for enhanced learning – I was glad to be reunited with my classmates, recap the experience and set the stage for the remainder of the year.
Round table discussion was filled with gratitude for the depth and diversity of the five-day experience, encompassing everything from the location, architecture, topics and especially the presenters. In fewer than 100 hours, perspectives had been expanded to include a broader sense of the greater good and capacity for influence of physicians on the health of patients and communities outside clinical walls.
For me, most encouraging was hearing my osteopathic colleagues share the sentiment of the unique potential of our profession to be leaders in health care. There is often a question of research and evidence, data vs belief in the true value of learning, teaching, practicing and living osteopathic philosophy. As with many ideologies, there is a spectrum of intensity of application and implementation. It can be challenging to maintain consistency across all areas and phases of life. I would propose that striving for that universal application of the tenets truly serves the health of all things in a way that is inclusive across degrees, specialties and practices.
How would the health care system benefit from a focus on organizational structure designed to optimize function? What would it look like to have health care delivery solidly grounded in the concept of unity – of people in society as well as of the mind, body and spirit of individuals and the collective? What if our approach to both patients and the system honored inherent capacity for self-regulation, self-healing and health maintenance? Would we be better equipped to see the best in each other? Could we lessen frustration and highlight success, moving more efficiently toward solutions by removing barriers, improving alignment and circulation for optimal flow?
As AT Still, as quoted and carved into the landscape of the host College of Osteopathic Medicine for this orientation, decreed, “Let us not be governed today by what we did yesterday, nor tomorrow by what we do today, for day by day we must show progress.” Would it not be significant progress to be the lead voice in the foundational principles of health care delivery? Would it not be significant progress to expand health beyond the office and hospital and into the neighborhoods, schools, markets, playgrounds, streets and countryside? Would it not be progress to welcome all physicians into the fold and move forward together, with values deeply and commonly rooted in the health and humanity?