I write this to you from our hospital doctor’s lounge, with a brand-new skin eruption on my face from my mask, completely cookie-less and with a crappy tea in hand. I sit here wondering how I am going to navigate a Grade 6 project post-call with my daughter while receiving texts from my brother drinking chardonnay and eating mussels and frites in Whistler (super Mike, super). Yet, my friends,I am full of so much energy and so much hope.
At our last Board meeting, we tended to our business, then put on our holiday garb for a celebration. We lit candles, we drew close and some absolute magic happened. We shared what gifts we love to give and what we wish for ourselves in the New Year. I have never been more inspired and moved. Our Board members have the biggest hearts, the brightest minds, the most beautiful values, and the most diverse stories that I have ever heard. And they don’t hold back from sharing any of it. Our Board members are a cross section of us all. They, and you, have proven to me that we can do this.
As the calendar flips, we will turn our minds to the work ahead, including preparations for the next Physician Master Agreement. At a recent meeting about this, we weaved our way through the values we want to uphold, the world we want to live in, and the path we need to forge to get there. We thought about what the Help Wanted Ad would look like if we were to advertise our jobs now:
Help Wanted: Must find not having enough time to complete menial tasks scintillating. Must never get sick, or have dependents that do, and must absolutely abhor pay raises. Must be so enamoured with dealing with grief, isolation, trauma, poverty, and complex medical diagnoses, in the absence of support, that you get butterflies at the mere thought. Must do all of the above within about ten minutes max. Must not ever question that perhaps you and your patients might be worth more.
Once we dried our eyes, we then spoke about what we want and need. We discussed the Help Wanted Ad for our jobs as we see them, as they will be in the future when we have done the work and the system has listened.
Help Wanted: Must find joy in hearing stories of humanity, meaning and love on a daily basis. Must find magic and honour in the beginning of life and also at its end. Must enjoy being the trusted caretaker at the centre of a person’s wellness village. Must not be shy in the face of respect and gratitude. Must be a knowing guide of willing and eager consultants, hospital communities, and society at large on the path towards the best possible care of all people. Must understand connection: of people to people, people to all beings, and all beings to earth. Must revel in the role you play in nurturing those connections and watching humanity soar as a result.
This future is the gift that I, and BC Family Doctors, truly wish for you. We are committed to it. We believe we can achieve it.
Wherever you find yourself over the holiday season, whether it be drinking crappy tea in a doctor’s lounge, in quiet with a candle, or in the mayhem of family, be reassured that there is very good reason to have energy and hope. Have a wonderful end to this year; see you in 2021.