Tomorrow I give a day-long symposium at a teaching hospital associated with one of the world’s fanciest universities. It’s a real honor. I’m excited and a little nervous. I haven’t given a whole day’s worth of lectures and such since I gave my job talk here at MECMC. Of course, this time, there’s nothing really on the line. I’m just talking as an invited guest. I’m not trying to get a job so I don’t end up unemployed when my funding runs out.
Though the hospital I’m speaking at is a (fairly) direct competitor of MECMC, and the two institutions have a long history of poaching each other’s professors, and administrators, and other associated individuals. If my talks are well-received I wouldn’t be extremely surprised to be approached about switching institutions. But that’s not my plan, and it would take a stunning offer to get me to move again considering the career I’m building here. Things are going as well as anyone could have asked here, and I don’t need to move to another place where I’d have to start proving myself all over again.
But that’s getting way ahead of myself. It’s not in my interest to think about that stuff. I’m going as a professional courtesy (well, with a small honorarium) to help them get started along the road to doing what we’re doing here. And it’s not like we have such a huge head start. An institution that decided to devote real resources to their program could be ahead of us in a couple of years unless we get moving on the plan to build our infrastructure.
It is a little nerve-wracking to give 4 long lectures in a single day to widely varying audiences. But it’s incredibly rewarding to me to be asked to go speak. I am a vain person. And it’s ego-boosting to be asked to go talk to the faculty of one of the world’s great medical schools. My ego is dangerous and troublesome. I need to recognize that this isn’t really about me. It’s about a methodology I happen to be a practitioner of. It’s about a pair of institutions that like to mimic each other. I’m not special.
So. Suit up. Show up. Give the talk about my work. Help them establish their own program. Give them the benefit of what I know. Because I believe these methods have the potential to help people. More people, getting better access to care, for less money. My long game is public health. Not personal notoriety. Maybe tomorrow I can help tick the odometer on that long road to improved care delivery, another inch in the right direction. Maybe not. Either way, it’s just another day.