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Same Place, Different Viewpoint

Same Place, Different Viewpoint

by Steven Reames

 

I recently met with a physician leader for coffee on the top floor of the new St. Luke’s parking garage downtown. Admittedly, it was an unusual place to confer, but I had two really good reasons:

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Micro-Affirmations have Macro-Implications

Micro-Affirmations have Macro-Implications

by Steven Reames, ACMS Director

Most of us have heard about microaggressions in the workplace, a term for brief and commonplace daily, verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities. They communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative prejudicial slights and insults toward any group. The "micro" refers not to the insignificance of these exchanges, but rather to their being so commonplace that they hardly draw any attention. Even though a comment may not be intended to offend or cause harm, it does not change its effect on the receiving party.[i]

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Loving What Is with Hope and Faith

By Steven Reames, Executive Director, Ada County Medical Society

In a season where many are contemplating and expressing some of the deeper values they hold dearest – such as family, faith, generosity – I have been mulling on this phrase: “But these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” These are words most of us have probably heard at a wedding, but it might seem a bit of a jump to think of them as words that could apply to a medical community. I do think that they could provide us with a lens to look at the challenges healthcare faces as we strive for novel solutions to old and emerging problems.

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Welcome to Idaho – No really. We Mean It!

By Steven Reames, Executive Director, Ada County Medical Society

For those who have experienced true “Southern Hospitality,” coming to the Intermountain West must seem like a rude awakening. The classic Idaho touristy postcard says it all: a couple of rednecks sitting on the car next to a highway border sign menacingly brandishing their guns: “Welcome to Idaho. Now Go Home!” These kind of attitudes towards outsiders are not anything new in our nation and have been happening since at least the mid-19th century. A generation of settlers comes into a territory, finds a place worth establishing themselves in, and then rejects the next generation of newcomers. Same ole same ole.

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Numb, Dumb, and Damaged

By Steven Reames, Executive Director, Ada County Medical Society

Last month, I addressed the issue of anger in the face of the Delta Surge, explaining it is a natural emotional reaction that is better not stuffed but must be processed in a healthy way. Although that resonated with many physicians who wrote back or told me in person, I recognize anger is not everybody’s response. Sometimes our reaction to overwhelm is just becoming dumb and numb.

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Dealing with Our Anger

By Steven Reames, Executive Director, Ada County Medical Society

As we move towards implementing crisis standards of care for the first time in Ada County’s history, there is a lot of anger out there. It’s no wonder with a projection of 30,000 new COVID cases statewide in a week, an ongoing shortage of healthcare personnel to go around, and a lack of political will. One could think our state emblem might best be changed to hot potatoes.

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Elite Athletes and Doctors

By Steven Reames, Executive Director, Ada County Medical Society

Last month, US gymnast Simone Biles turned in comparatively sloppy performances during her qualifications at the Tokyo Olympics. After not sticking her planned vault, she suddenly withdrew herself from the team all-around competition. The world was stunned and some were outraged. She had experienced a case of the “twisties” or “yips,” a sudden and inexplicable loss of air balance awareness. It was downright dangerous for her to continue in the team competition, but her departure enabled the Russian Olympic Committee athletes to win the gold in the event.

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Disruptive, Abrasive, Skeptical, or Human?

By Steven Reames, Executive Director, Ada County Medical Society

When I heard the term “disruptive physician” for the first time, I imagined it was something akin to a kid in a classroom who had lost their self-control, was throwing a temper tantrum, and who caused other students, teachers, or staff to feel unsafe. Those pictures certainly fit the worst-case scenarios of physicians whose emotional intelligence and self-regulation have taken a leave of absence: surgeons who throw scalpels at interns or nurses, doctors who blow up if their authority is questioned or threatened, a physician who dresses down a co-worker in front of others.

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Retaining the Humanity and Artistry of Medicine

By Steven Reames, Executive Director, Ada County Medical Society

I was listening to an interview on NPR this spring with Kevin Roose, a New York Times tech columnist. He was speaking about his new book and how humans need to “futureproof” themselves with respect to artificial intelligence. This quote caught my attention:

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It's Time to Reconnect the Docs

With spring finally ready to blow off winter for good this year, and continuing deceleration of COVID infections in our area, our board has deemed it safe to begin regathering our members. It has been a long year of telehealth adaptations, Zoom meetings and conferences, and culling the number of active relationships. But it is time for us to emerge from the wreckage that many members have experienced due to the pandemic.

As we begin to reconvene, let us think about the emotional triage we can provide one another, because nobody has escaped from this year significantly unscathed. By listening carefully to each other’s stories, traumas, triumphs, and trials, we honor each other’s journey through this past year and validate the difficulties and growth that may have come from it.

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Growing Something New in the Medical Culture

By Steven Reames, Executive Director, Ada County Medical Society

Throughout this past year, as the medical profession has been overwhelmed with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous voices have called for transforming medical culture. A couple of examples:

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COVID19, Kairos, and Metanoia

By Steven Reames, Executive Director, Ada County Medical Society

On the first anniversary of natural disasters, it is frequently a time to reflect on the impact of cataclysmic events in our personal and communal lives. After a year of living with COVID-19, it is all too easy to identify the massive changes in the way we live, work, play, and relate to each other. But what then? Fifty years from now, or even 500 years from now, will this be only a year in chronological history for students to memorize and get right on a test? Or is this a test, for us as a people, to get right in this moment of history?

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Can Ya Lend Me Some Help Here?

By Steven Reames, Executive Director, Ada County Medical Society

There have been a number of times in my life and career when people have reached out to me for help. Sometimes it has been a person looking for a referral to a counselor. Other times it has been as simple as "I really need another perspective" (or desperate) as “I just don’t know what to do next.” Last week I took a call from somebody looking to get connected to the Physician Recovery Network because of a DUI.

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By Steven Reames, Executive Director, Ada County Medical Society

By Steven Reames, Executive Director, Ada County Medical Society

Last month, Ada County Medical Society released a statement supporting Central District Health’s leadership in its handling of the Coronavirus. We affirmed diverse perspectives, respectful dialogue, and peaceful protests, but opposed the intimidating tactics on display that silence or disrupt civil processes. As you may recall, protesters outside the CDH offices and homes of some of its board members Dr. Ted Epperly and Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo interrupted their board meeting. They were considering a public health order which would have required face coverings throughout the district; when the board reconvened the following week, it failed to pass.

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