This has been an unsettling year. We have the elections with the cast of clowns. Really, they all just need a red nose and a clown car. The news media is no better. Then there is the cast of characters who are in charge of our government. It is truly not the statesmen we grew up admiring even when we disagreed with them. There is no eloquence in the speeches or great land mark legislation passed.
We have seen what racism has produced in our over the top policing that has led to a record number of shooting deaths of unarmed black males. The shoot to kill approach rather just arrest. I watched a video of the London Police take down the subway attacker and there was no gunfire even though he had a knife. There have been so many revealing and brilliant NYT Op-eds written and I have posted them all on my Facebook page.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I am preparing to take a new position by returning to graduate medical education. This has allowed me the opportunity to review my career by putting together a credentialing application. I had to provide licenses, education history, documentation of competency regarding specific procedures and get letters of support from former colleagues. I am reviewing evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of acute and chronic diseases. Another requirement is completing modules and reviewing corporate compliance and learning about the culture of the organization I am joining. There is a review of the vision, mission, and values of the organization.
When I see the widespread use of deadly force by our police, I can only ask if this is the culture and part of the training. Is there any review of skills and competency documentation? Does it go beyond the firing range? Is there any cultural awareness training? What is the vision, mission and values statement of the police force? Is it written and reviewed?
This also can be applied to our politicians. Their vision, mission and values are not clearly stated and they have not shared their plan of including all Americans. The issues of gun violence especially looking at not only police shooting, but acts of terror and black-on-black murders. Women’s reproductive rights are under attack and we cannot forget the wage gap. The issue of racism is real and as one of my colleagues has stated, must be addressed. Racism is leading to a wealth and education gap. In the medical community, racism affects patient care, medical school admission and matriculation, and the number of medical educators that are from underrepresented minorities (URM). The definition of URM is African Americans, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans (American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians), Pacific Islanders, and mainland Puerto Ricans. This is very important because of the cost of medical education and the issue of work-force diversity.
I am looking forward to 2016. I am energized by all that I (we) have to accomplish. Happy New Year!!!