The Doctors Next Door

Will we have health reform under the Christmas Tree?

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That would be better than "an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time". As we look to the Senate to bring this special gift home for the holidays, I recall the dad in A Christmas Story  who finds the word "Fra-jee-lay" on a Christmas package and asserts it to be Italian.  Yes, the fra-gi-le healthcare reform package has been delivered to the Senate elves for further work. While we await our shiny treasure, let's reflect upon the guidance of some authentic Italian words from the pages of Leonardo DaVinci's notebook.


Author Michael Gelb in How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci discusses some key DaVincian principles. There are a few that may be especially helpful to us in the coming months.  

Dimostrazione - Test knowledge through experience, persistence and learn from mistakes. There are many examples of successful healthcare innovation throughout our country.  Lets grab up these precious pearls and spread them around.


Sfumato - "going up in smoke" (no not the whole idea of health reform) this term means to embrace ambiguity, paradox and uncertainty. We can't possibly know which of the pundits is more right than the others. Will healthcare reform, done well, pay for itself?  Will the trillion dollar price tag be too much to bear before the returns on our investment come in?


Arte/Scienza - Balance science and art, logic and imagination. This is real "whole brain" thinking.  I believe that we have the right culture, talent and creativity to truly create the best healthcare system in the world--one that embraces both the high-tech, tertiary and quaternary care as well as the basic needs of all our citizens.


Connessione - Recognize and appreciate the interconnectedness of all things - systems thinking.  When we don't care for the healthcare needs of our citizens there are both short and long term consequences. These consequences touch innumerable aspects of our society.  We can no longer allow this burden to adversely affect our businesses, our families, and our spirit.  


I am not one bit Italian.  I am however, part Cherokee--as you can probably tell by my photo. : ) It's a miniscule amount but what the heck, I'll toss in a little piece of Native American wisdom.


I think Lisa Wingate tells it best in her 2001 book, Tending Roses:


"Even in times of drought we are still moving and growing, but it is during seasons of rain that we expand the most--when water flows from all directions, sweeping at terrifying speed, chasing against rocks, spilling over boundaries. These are painful times, but they enable us to carry burdens we would have never thought possible."

I anxiously await Santa's gift.



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