Charles Dinerstein MD MBA, Founder
I have had the privilege of being a vascular surgeon for the last 28 years, joining a specialty in its infancy and growing along with it. It has been an incredible experience but now I am re-envisioning my role.
I chose vascular surgery because my mentor was both an excellent surgeon and mensch, a glorious combination. He showed me such wonderful adjacent possibilities. I spent five years as ‘apprentice’ in service to his vision and our patients before I was ready, as a journeyman, to practice on my own. That was when the real labor, of mastering my field, began. David Hyde, writing in The Gift states:
Most artists are brought to their vocation when their own nascent gifts are awakened by the work of a master. That is to say, most artists are converted to art by art itself. The future artists finds himself or herself moved by a work of art, and, through that experience, comes to labor in the service of art until he can profess his own gifts. … transformative gift cannot be fully received when it is first offered because the person does not yet have power either to accept the gift or to pass it along. … We therefore submit ourselves to the labor of becoming like the gift. Giving a return gift is the final act in the labor of gratitude
Surgical Analytics is a means to complete the virtuous circle, putting the gift back into my community, made a little greater by my individual contribution.
As we internalize life’s lessons, we transform the explicit knowledge of our experiences into more coded tacit knowledge, personalized by context and memory. The time comes when we want to share, to make the implicit explicit once again. There are two means, parenting (or its work equivalent, mentoring) and storytelling. Both require an engaged, intimate relationship.
Stories are entertaining; creating a memory in words and visualizations that give us a vicarious experience. The more the story ‘resonates’ with us, the more the experience becomes ours. Stories have context and detail, making them an easier means to share difficult to describe tacit knowledge. Stories illustrate greater principles through narration. We remember the narrative of coherent experience better than general principles, so stories provide more easily accessed long-term memories. As a result, stories are an excellent means of sharing knowledge and wisdom.
Healthcare is complicated. Storytelling enhances our team’s experience, sharing understanding between groups, across networks of peers and support staff. For patient’s, it is an empathetic means to reduce anxiety, introduce new experiences – to help them to understand their adjacent possibility.
Storytellers are scarce, valuable resources of knowledge and inspiration for our patients and organizations. We all have stories to share, wisdom to impart.
Take a moment tell a story.