"What are you passionate about?" This is a question I often ask people when I meet them for the first time. Anytime I am around young people, as I am through medical missions, I always ask this question. I believe the answer to it is key to understanding the heart of that person.
We can be passionate about one thing or many things. I bet if asked, every one of you could quickly come up with an answer to this question. If you cannot, you should ask why not because one's passions, to a significant extent, reflect who they are as a person – emotionally and spiritually. Who wants to live a life devoid of passion? I cannot imagine doing so. To me, that would be a life without adventure, without purpose, without real significance – a boring life!
I have my passions. These passions define who I am as a person. Those who know me, know I am a fly fishing "nut"! I will fly fish any time, any place, under just about any condition. I also tie my own flies and build fly rods. I love it! When I am standing in a cold, crystal-clear stream with the mountains surrounding me, I am at complete peace. The only things I think about is catching the next trout and thanking God for allowing me to be in such a beautiful place. I can literally fly fish for hours and not once think of anything - not work, not all the demands on my life, not the latest trouble I may be experiencing - only the beauty, serenity, and peace of the moment and the trout!
As passionate as I am about fly- fishing, it does not compare to what really gets me excited - leading short- term medical missions around the world and investing, mentoring, and encouraging young people. I have had the privilege of leading over 40 medical missions to eight different countries on four different continents since 2004. I have served with hundreds of amazing people who have a passion to serve and love others. They want to live a life that counts, a life that makes a difference in the world. They are also our future and they want someone to mentor them, to invest in them, and help them through the ups- and- downs of life. That is what I do, that is about what I am passionate. My question again is, "What are you passionate about?" How do your passions affect your life priorities, who you are as a person, and even as a physician, or do they?
Every hospital must have a “Culture of Excellence”, a culture that is passionate about exceptional patient care. Anything less should not be acceptable. This is a passion worth having! The humbling thing is that each of you, whether in the hospital or outside the hospital, is doing this! What you do every day for your patients, your hospital, and your community makes a difference and is foundational for providing this exceptional care.
As always, thank you for all you do every day on the front line of patient care. I know the hard work you do and will never forget that. You are making a difference - one life at a time!
Andy Lamb, MD