Here’s to a New Year and new and exciting plans!
Here’s to another year of life and the beginning of many great things! It is a busy time in the land of primary care. Every day is filled with runny noses, fevers, and coughs. I have even seen my first few cases of flu.
On the professional front, I am busy establishing Healthy Home Pediatrics and have officially filed my business license. It is such a complicated feeling: a mix of excitement, fear, and joy that the practice that I began to envision so many years ago is coming to fruition. Over the last year, I have spent countless hours molding my vision into processes and policies. I have had so many insightful conversations with long-time mentors, new colleagues and entrepreneurs, house call based doctors both far and wide, midwives and doulas. I am truly grateful for the professional community I am a part of.
It feels so good to work hard for my own vision. For the last 5 years I have worked extremely hard for visions that were often established by hospital administrators or the organizations that I worked for. Too often, these visions fell short of what I knew my colleagues and I were truly capable of and far short of what patients really wanted and needed.
During times like this, when I am venturing into the unknown, I often go back to one of my all time favorite books, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. I have read this book countless times. In it, Coelho shares the story of a young shepherd boy who leaves home and goes in search of his dreams. Along the way he is tested and experiences both profound joy and deep disappointments. One of my favorite sections of the book shares a conversation with the boy, his heart, and the alchemist:
“People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them. We, their hearts, become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or of moments that could have been good but weren’t, or of treasures that might have been found but were forever hidden in the sands. Because, when these things happen, we suffer terribly.”
“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
“Every second of the search is an encounter with God,” the boy told his heart. “When I have been truly searching for my treasure, every day has been luminous, because I’ve known that every hour was a part of the dream that I would find it. When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I’ve discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve.”
This is my dream. To practice medicine in the way that feels good to my heart, in a way that I know will help families and my community. To be unhindered by traditional systems such as hospital systems and clinic administrators. To collaborate directly with my patients and their families. To build sustainable relationships with families that help prevent disease and suffering. To be there for my patients when they need me.
So, here’s to a new year, here’s to year one of Healthy Home Pediatrics !