what do you want to do when you grow up

This is the question Seth Godin asks during his launch party for his newest book, This Is Marketing

I often ask myself this same question…because I continuously feel as if I am ready for the new thing, the new challenge, and the new work.

As a child, I was surrounded by my parents and 2 different worlds. My father’s world of working a blue collar job, in a factory, being a minority, English as a second language, and a Vietnam Vet. My mother’s world of growing up in the midwest, from humble beginnings, being a nurse and an administrator, and always seeking friendship and acceptance.

For me, growing up meant being the window, one looking in, and the other looking out; needing to decide which world I wanted for myself.

I saw my mother care for people and make a profound impact in the lives of those that were sick or as they transitioned into geriatric care. I witnessed my father’s family not have access to quality care, to medicine, to late-stage diagnosis, and impending death due to cancer, heart disease, and other complications.

Which led me to know that I wanted to do something that would allow me to impact people in our communities and the patients that they become over their lifetime.

I went into cancer.

I learned the art of using radiation to care for and treat patients diagnosed with cancer.

I quickly moved into administration. To understand the business side of medicine. To learn the metrics, the measures, and the language used by those that were making business decisions that ultimately impacted the lives of people.

I was fortunate to always show up and say yes. Having built 2 hospitals, 6 cancer centers in the U.S. and more multiple cancer centers and risk reduction facilities in China. I learned how to listen, to see, and to understand that patients do not want technology, they want to trust.

They want to trust that the words of their physician, that build their world as a patient and help to determine their journey within medicine, are words worthy of giving their time and attention.

When I lost my father, I lost my way. Seth was there for me as a mentor. Reminding me that my voice matters. My ideas are important. That it is perfectly acceptable that not everyone agrees, adopts, or follows my voice. That as long as I move forward, make something remarkable, and focus on the few, that the rest will follow.

Seth reminded me of what I wanted to be when I grow up.

I want to build worlds, change lives, and ensure that people in communities and the patients they become receive the care they expect, in an open and transparent manner, have the transitions in their journey managed, and that care is delivered as it was always meant to, at the N of 1. (patient to physician)

I want to be the ruckusmaker that helps us to remember the Me In Medicine.

As always feel free to email me at cancergeek@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter and Instagram as CancerGeek


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