Positive Thinking Brings Positive Change
Whenever you mention positive thinking it is likely to draw automatic nods from some and skeptical eye-rolling from others. It is the sort of thing, like patriotism, motherhood and apple pie, that is so self-evident that it engenders very little original thought or analysis.
With all the changes happening in the country, in healthcare and in clinical lab science, it is easy to predict only gloom over what is seen by many as- at the very least -a very uncertain future.
I have always been an optimist and continue to be so. As Winston Churchill said, "I am an optimist because it does not seem too much use being anything else,"
Too often optimism is seen as being Pollyannaish or childishly unrealistic but it is as valid a choice as pessimism. As long as healthcare is needed, then smart scientists will be an integral part of the team delivering that care. As many of us shuffle towards retirement, eager young graduates are entering the workforce.
I fear they are hearing only pessimism as they start their career.Instead, they need to know they have the ability and option of making a difference, both in healthcare delivery and on the face of the profession.
While many other professions continue to define themselves, expand their scope and fill voids as they occur, CLS has suffered from inertia, passivism and pessimism. The time is ripe to pursue personnel licensure with vigor, to weigh in (whether invited or not) on healthcare issues, to do research on comparative effectiveness and the effect of clinical lab science on the outcomes of chronic diseases.
There is a current initiative being pushed by nine medical specialties suggesting that some medical tests and procedures are unnecessary and should be discontinued. As laboratorians we all know 10 or 12 useless or archaic laboratory tests that physicians mindlessly order over and over. Yet the clinical laboratory profession is glaringly missing from this consortium. We need to be part of this conversation. I suggest that optimism results from being part of positive change.
We do not know what the future holds, but choosing to see issues in a positive light and choosing to chart that future should be exciting. It should breed more optimism than pessimism.