Physician for a Bright Future Campaign
January 15, 2021
FESR Workshop
February 16, 2021
Show all

Presidents Message – February 2021

My father immigrated from India to England in the 1960’s. He worked his way up pouring concrete in cement factories, becoming a foreman, and eventually owning his own grocery store.

When I was young, I was looking at some old pictures from those days in England. I noticed an image of my father sitting with a happy team holding a championship cup with a big thick rope lying on the ground. My father explained that this was when he successfully coached his local Tug-of-War team to victory.

I felt proud of my fathers’ accomplishments, but I was naively surprised: “Why does a Tug-of-War team need a coach? Don’t you just try to pull harder until the other team tires out?”.   My father smiled and said, “It is not about pulling harder, it is about pulling smarter”.

Success in Tug-of-War was about preparation (the right shoes, the right training, the right mindset), performance (when to pull hard together and when to preserve your strength), and reflection (learning from your wins and losses)

Now, as I look back at this COVID-19 pandemic marathon we have all been running for this past year, I recall the lesson of pulling smarter, not harder.

While being wary to not oversimplify an extraordinarily complex problem that continues to warrant an extraordinarily complex response, I would like to share some observations of how our valued medical staff has managed and can continue to pull smarter as we move forward in this new world.

  1. Preparation

Our medical staff members have heavily engaged in numerous manners in order to best prepare themselves, their colleagues, and their respective Departments.

Moving forward, your MSA will continue to support initiatives that allow us to practice our skills, participate in ongoing evidence-based learning, help maintain PPE vigilance, and engage in pandemic planning.

  1. Performance

We all only have so much to give. Being strategic of how much we give and when is a key to not depleting all of our mental and physical energies. We endeavor to targeting those issues, tasks, and outcomes that align best with our priorities while having the most marginal gain for effort expended. This will better help us provide quality patient care for the short- and long-term. Furthermore, coordinating our collective efforts (i.e. pulling together) amplifies our effects.

For the future, with Redevelopment firmly on our horizon, your MSA will continue to support and help ways for our members to make the most of their collaborative and individual efforts as we strive to help make Burnaby Hospital a safe and effective place to work and receive care at.

  1. Reflection

This past year has been a challenge, and we have all learned a lot as we look back at our successes and disappointments with humble inquiry and unconditional positive regard. We have learned that we must maintain PPE vigilance, break-room occupancy safety, and careful monitoring for personal symptoms, regardless if we have been vaccinated.

One thing that has shined through all of these challenges has been the unbelievable collegiality and positive “can do” culture of our medical staff and hospital. It has been and will continue to be our shining star.

Thank you to all for helping hold this proverbial Tug-of-War rope and pulling smarter. We have learned much, and we will move forward together.