The Doctor Is In

After we wrapped up our day with the leadership team at HCA’s John Randolph Medical Center, the team met with Tim McManus, CEO of Chippenham & Johnston-Willis Hospitals. I was curious about Tim, so I did what we do these days – I Googled him, and Idiscovered that Tim McManus has his own blog.

While most of his posts are focused on interesting things happening at HCA, the day I found his site he was writing about Carl Honore’s book, In Praise of Slowness. Tim’s emphasis was on the importance of slowing down and focusing on the relationships in our lives – a message that resonates with me!

According to Honore, we have moved from a world where the big eat the small to one where the fast eat the slow. Our obsession with speed has gone too far. It has turned into an addiction. 

(One example he shares: You want to produce more meat – grow the animal faster with steroids and endless corn. Today a 220-pound pig can be grown in six months. Two centuries ago, it took five years to grow a 130-pound pig.)

The evidence suggests we learn and build rapport better at a slower pace. While speed dating might be an interesting way to meet a lot of people in a short period of time – it is less likely to make a lasting connection than quality one-to-one time.So why do we need to slow down? By stopping to “smell the roses” we make better connections with our co-workers and, perhaps more importantly, with our patients. Think about one of your visits to the doctor. Did they go down a check-list to assess your physical symptoms and then grab the script pad to write a medication to fix your problem or did they really think about you holistically and consider your mental state of mind and all of the softer variables that might impact your physical health? Not everything can be solved instantly. Focusing on slowness often means better health, better work, better business, and better family life. Evidence shows that people who work 60 hours per week are twice as likely to have a heart attack as those who work 40 hours.

Good advice from the doctor’s CEO.