BOSTON—You’ve got to be present to win.
Well, emergency physician Jennifer L’Hommedieu Stankus, MD, JD, FACEP, was front and center at the opening session of ACEP15, and it won her a trip to the stage, courtesy of ACEP15 Opening Session speaker, motivational speaker Mark Scharenbroich.
Equal parts comedian and preacher, Mr. Scharenbroich and his wife run a company called Nice Bike, an homage to two words that connect any strangers, as long as one of them owns a motorcycle. He learned the words’ power at a gathering in Milwaukee in 2003 for Harley Davidson’s 100th anniversary and has since used them as a metaphor for how people connect.
On Monday morning, he brought the power of that message to hundreds of emergency physicians here—and for Dr. Stankus, the proud owner of a black Softail Slim, he made it personal. He used her work at Tacoma General Hospital and Madigan Army Medical Center, both in the Tacoma, Washington, area, to thank all emergency physicians.
“Thank you for saving lives,” he said. “Thank you for dedicating your brilliance to the lives of others. Thank you for embracing each and every single day. You are absolutely amazing. And for that, I say to you, ‘Nice bike.’”
Scharenbroich then suggested Dr. Stankus and all the attendees acknowledge—“be fully present with others.” He urged them to honor—“create remarkable experiences for others.” And he pushed them to connect—“make it personal.”
Perhaps most important?
“You’ve got to be present to win,” he said.
That last tenet resonated with Dr. Stankus.
“You have to be in the moment and put your phone down,” she said. “Put other distractions aside and focus on the person and what you’re doing. It’s super-important. It’s a skill that we [as emergency physicians] acquire and cultivate and master. It’s what makes us good.”
Check out today’s ACEP15 video that highlights the opening session
Good was the idea of the morning. Be good to others. Focus on the good of the moment. Mr. Scharenbroich, through anecdotes, analogies, and affability, told of the goodness that fraternity and fellowship—of the non-medical variety—can bring to life, in the ED and out of it.
“My great hope for you is that with every single patient, every single colleague you have, that you’re…present in their lives, that you create that remarkable experience of listening to the music of the heart,” he said. “And that you make it personal for them.”
Said another way?