I came upon the below expression randomly about ten years ago. It was so inspiring to me that I have incorporated it into every presentation that I give as the final slide. It is an anonymous quote and I would like to share it with you:
To the world you may be just one person,
But to one person you may just be the world.
Frequently the topics that I address in health care can be inherently somewhat dry, and many times they cover areas about which the audience really does not want to hear. Many times I have to convey a very important, but somewhat unpopular concept. Many times I have to motivate the attendee or the organization to change when they really don’t want to change at all. Sometimes I have to give some sharp criticism to the industry that I serve. Although my message is usually optimistic, it also contains some difficult challenges.
In order to maximize my impact on the audience and minimize their desire to sometimes shoot the messenger, I like to add personal stories and anecdotes to complement the material that I present. Regardless of the topic upon which I am asked to speak, I very much appreciate the importance of inspiring the audience and leaving them with a call to action. In the long term, from the perspective of changing behavior and organizational performance, this “call to action” can be more impactful than the actual content of the talk. I am always appreciative that the audience was willing to listen to what I have to say, and move ahead in the appropriate direction. So regardless of the topic, I always end my presentation with acknowledging the accomplishments of my listeners, and the pride I genuinely have for the work being done in health care.
I remind the audience that we are truly very blessed to be in medicine. The things that our physicians, nurses and caregivers do every day is mind boggling. Anyone who has ever been a patient appreciates how much work and effort these professionals do tirelessly over and over again. People in health care make a huge difference in the lives that they touch. No other field has the ability to do so much good to so many people. I reinforce this to the audience.
Sometimes though, on any given day we can be under-loved, overworked and under-appreciated. In fact, despite our best intentions, there are days that it can be all but impossible to get things done in an efficient manor for the patient. Sometimes the patients are lucky that they got their meds on time that day. It even can get to the point where we doubt why we went into health care in the first place. Occasionally, even I wondered why I did not stay in rock music.
But it is precisely in those very times when the above quotation is so impactful and important. Here is why.
I would bet you that for every patient that was seen that day, for every patient in the hospital and for every patient in the clinic, that there is someone else in this world to whom that patient means the world.
And they are trusting you with their care !!
So, in ending this blog, just as when I end my presentations—it is our mission to take good care of those patients. My congratulations to all of you for a job well done. May you all continue to do the great work that you are doing.
Thank you all for the service that you do every day.