16 Oct Transform: A Student’s Perspective
Post Written By Haley P.
Attending a major conference such as Transform is not an opportunity most undergraduate students get to experience. As a part of the upcoming generation of health care professionals, I recognize that the choices the current generation makes today can directly impact the healthcare landscape of tomorrow. In a lot of ways, that is absolutely terrifying. Whether it be through insurance gaps, outrageous prescription drug costs, failing public health initiatives, or a one-size-fits-all healthcare model, it is evident that our country is consistently falling short of delivering effective healthcare to all of its citizens. As a student pursuing a career as a physician, I am troubled by all of these barriers that may prevent my future patients from achieving health and wellness. And when stepping back to look at the big picture, I sometimes feel overwhelmed and helpless at the complexity of the issues. Luckily, I am not the only one who feels this way. And right now, there are trailblazers that are stepping up to shake up the healthcare industry.
Transform 2015 was put on by people who have dedicated their entire careers to making a meaningful change in healthcare. Rather than sitting back and letting the status quo stagnate the system, they have chosen to “think disruptively” and look for creative solutions to even the most complex problems. The main portions of Transform included talks from speakers of all different fields, professions, and walks of life. Some had entered the healthcare field through established professions, such as physicians or service designers, while others were lead into healthcare through personal experiences that made them especially passionate about specific issues. Others were not technically even in the healthcare industry, but had somehow been impacted by it. An enormously diverse set of topics were talked about including addiction, city planning, improvisation, medical education, child abuse, story-telling, , insurance, and even beer. Needless to say, I learned a lot and was greatly inspired by the advancements and innovations going on around the country. Many of the speakers had to exhibit pure courage in order to bring about change in their area. Some had up and left their former careers, while others were met with struggles time and time again. However, each one of the speakers had something in common: a strong passion for people. I have come to realize that this passion is the underlying force that drives people’s intrinsic motivation to think big and push limits. In a field with red tape as far as the eye can see, it has become crucial to have strong underlying motivations to make changes happen. In the absence of such motivation, coming across red tape (or other similar barriers) can lead to discouragement and the eventual abandonment of ideas and designs. I believe that deep down, every person has a primitive drive to help those in need. But in this day and age, it may take more than just a passive desire to help people (at least on a large scale). It takes initiative, resourcefulness, creativity, and perhaps most importantly, resilience. The people who make the most changes, such as the speakers at Transform, are not passive in their ways. Rather, they are like bulldozers. They are bulldozing paths all throughout the healthcare field so that the rest of us can trail behind with relative ease. When reflecting on this idea, I began to wonder, what if more people stepped up, found what they are passionate about, and began plowing their own path? Yes, the complexity of healthcare is daunting. And yes, it has more hurdles than an Olympic track race. However, as the speakers at Transform demonstrated, even tackling the small, less complex components of healthcare can lead to big differences. Eventually, these small components can add up and ultimately revolutionize the healthcare industry.