Sunday, February 17, 2013

Why are you here and not somewhere else?

This is a piece of installation art by Jeppe Heine, which lives in the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. To me it asks the question of what is important and why does it matter. It is just the right question to bring together what I’ve been thinking about over the last week at Tharawal:

  • Why am I here?
  • Now that I’m here what am I trying to achieve?
  • Why do patients come here?

In this post I’ll deal with the first question and then move on to the others I love going to work – wherever that work might be. Tharawal like some, but not all, of the places I have worked has a great vibe – that quality that is difficult to quantify, takes many forms but you know it when you see it. At Tharawal it stems from individual and community ownership of the work – this is the reason for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.

And that ownership means services exist that actually benefit our patients. Trying to find useful services (outside of your own area of practice expertise) is often one of the banes of trying to deliver good healthcare. Tharawal is a magnet for great clinicians and members of the community. That, in turn, engenders a degree of drive amongst the whole team to deliver better care.  The practice escapes from the notion of individuality and that each person is trying to achieve something on their own. 

And I’m now a part of that team.

The best experiences of my training have been where this kind of team exists.  You can’t quite know this is going to be the case when you pick a practice.  But sometimes there are inklings. Now that I’m here the concept of ‘fit’ comes into play.  I’m still new to the place but the first steps have been promising. There are projects with Tim, ideas for improving current programs, outlets for my own teaching interests and a challenging clinical environment.

So I’ve lucked into a great job and now is the chance for me (and Tim) to make something of it. This week has involved the first draft of a conference abstract to both talk about the conception of supertwision and also to give us an idea of where we are going. Doing that is giving me a better understanding of what I am trying to achieve while at Tharawal – the subject of the next post.

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