"The ultimate measure of a [person] is not where [s/he] stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where [s/he] stands at times of challenge and controversy." -Martin Luther King Jr.
Lifelong Learning in Clinical Excellence | March 25, 2020 | 1 min read
By Juliette Perzhinsky, MD, MSc, Central Michigan University
The pandemic has already resulted in a wave of morbidity and mortality in many countries. Suddenly our lives went from “normal” to quasi-chaotic in our homes, offices, and clinics/hospitals. There is much uncertainty regarding how to appropriately and properly advise patients who turn to healthcare professionals seeking astute diagnoses and timely treatment. It is hard to practice medicine when there are so many unanswered questions, a deficiency of knowledge/resources, and an absence of clear management guidelines. Furthermore, the lack of rapid PCR testing to provide a timely diagnosis of COVID-19 is a patient safety issue, along with a scarcity of personal protective equipment to protect healthcare workers. We could coin this as “entropy in an era of CoV.”
However, despite the immense degree of entropy (or disorder) that we are all experiencing, we must cultivate, nurture, and maintain a humanistic connection to the most vulnerable in our communities, even when we may feel exposed or scared. Our values are instilled in the ethical framework of which we adhere to in our profession.
Martin Luther King Jr. said:
“The ultimate measure of a [person] is not where [s/he] stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where [s/he] stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Let us heed his words in solidarity as a profession in this time of morally tenable urgency. Let us stand on the frontlines during this alarming era for the benefit of our patients. We may not all come out of this unscathed, but it is a sacrifice worthy of embarking on, even if entropy is working against us.