From the Trenches
Warfare, every day: Surgeon-in-chief, at Columbia University and Chair of the Department of Surgery, Dr. Craig Smith, informs and inspires his warrior-troops every day.
It turns out, as reported by the Wall Street Journal that the same surgeon who gained some fame by completing President Bill Clinton’s quadruple bypass surgery send emails to his colleagues every day. Sometimes the communications are alarming other times, inspiring. Here are three excerpts, more at…… https://columbiasurgery.org/news/covid-19-update-32020
3/20/2020 – “Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to apologize profusely in a few weeks for having overestimated the threat. That would mean we never exceeded capacity, and that mortalities and morbidities rarely seen in non-pandemic circumstances were avoided. The next month or two is a horror to imagine if we’re underestimating the threat. So what can we do? Load the sled, check the traces, feed Balto, and mush on. Our cargo must reach Nome. Remember that our families, friends, and neighbors are scared, idle, out of work, and feel impotent. Anyone working in health care still enjoys the rapture of action. It’s a privilege! We mush on.”
3/26/2020 – “Stepping out of the sunshine and back into the cave, I must report that the number of patients on ventilators at CUIMC more than doubled in the past 3 days, a pace that exceeds the overall increase in new cases. We have not exhausted our existing supply of ventilators, but if we keep doubling every three days, we might. This development has placed sudden pressure on ICU capacity. ORs have already been converted to ICUs, and an entire 36-bed floor (7GN) is now fully renovated for conversion to ICU space. Consequently, a call went out yesterday for MD volunteers to staff ICUs. Within a few hours 20 surgeons had volunteered. Once again, the selflessness demonstrated by everyone in the Surgery family inspires me.”
3/30/2020 – “Redeployment haunts my days. To the redeployed I’ve emphasized that we’re not leaving you alone, that we will keep reinforcements flowing out. Think about the impact of redeployment on the ranks left behind, who are steadily reduced to those inappropriate for duty. They may be older, or medically compromised—or they may be your ensconced leaders, barricaded in the war room. The entire group of remainders, I assure you, suffers from a thirst combined of guilt and FOMO that will never be slaked. In contrast, those redeployed are thrown into rapidly evolving organizational structures made fluid by the fog of COVID. On that side of the wire, new leaders must emerge, and fast. It is a time for battlefield promotions. Whether you’re a frustrated leader-in-waiting, or a reluctant leader who needs to be catalyzed by events, this is your time. Dandelion seeds go nowhere without wind. Our next generation of leaders will emerge in these few weeks.”
As I mentioned last week: Yes. We have faith in America. Aren’t you proud?
Carlos Dominguez – CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Portfolio Manager, RJFS