CVP Week 2021: Why this year is *way* more important

CVP Week 2021 - More important than ever.

This year, CVP Week 2021 is really important.

For nearly the past 400 days, healthcare workers across the world have been contending with the biggest global health crisis in over a century.

It’s no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has strained our health systems, tested the resilience of healthcare team members, and caused suffering for individuals and families the world over. The ordeals of the past year have been difficult, to say the least, but there is both solace and obligation shrouded beneath the struggles of the SARS-COV-2 virus and the efforts those who have worked so diligently over the past 400 days to meet the occasion set before us.

The solace we might find in the pandemic is not in the virus itself, but in the ways in which it has enhanced our perspective and confirmed the tenacity and courage of the health professionals serving the public good.

The obligation it requires of us is to those very same professionals – that we must vocally and continuously show our gratitude for their arduous labor, trust in their judgments, and support their efforts in any and every way possible.

Our perspective of both the strengths and shortcomings of our healthcare system is clearer than ever before.

In addition to highlighting the immeasurable fortitude of healthcare professionals, the pandemic has shed light on many gaps and inequities in the delivery of health services. These gaps and inequities chart our path forward on the journey of constant improvement. Certainly, addressing our present concerns around Covid-19 must take first priority, but our ability to understand and articulate where we fall short is a necessary step towards the next iteration of our healthcare system.

Make no mistake, we are on the precipice of far-reaching change, and the medical professionals currently serving our societies are the stewards of current lessons for the next generation of the healthcare workforce. They are the frontline, the vanguard – agents of the critical progress ahead.

"Medicine is as much a human pursuit as it is a scientific pursuit, and we must treat it as such by operationalizing our compassion among our teams, within our communities, and between individuals." - Zach - CVP Week 2021

Celebrating CVP Week 2021 in your honor

We are indebted to these professionals always, but now more than ever, and it is all of our duty to celebrate their efforts and successes.

Failing to do so would be to our detriment, and poses a tangible risk to our long-term progress, not only regarding Covid-19 but to future pursuits as well. Underappreciation is a common theme in medicine, and failing to address it will have lasting effects on the healthcare workforce of tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

To celebrate health professionals appropriately, it is helpful to look back at our roots as a medical community and understand where we came from. Clarifying mission is a powerful exercise when determining “next steps,” and there are four lines from the modern Hippocratic Oath (rewritten in 1964 by Louis Lasagna), which have amplified relevance amidst the Covid-19 pandemic:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

"I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

"I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.

"I will not be ashamed to say ‘I know not,’ nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.

To paraphrase…

  • Information-sharing has been demonstrated to be essential every one of the past 400 days. This is a “world-building” exercise at its core, and allows us to work more efficiently and effectively.
  • The avoidance of “therapeutic nihilism” is a radical act against such heavy odds. But we must never fall prey to apathy and dejection in our pursuits lest we allow ourselves to fail.
  • Medicine is as much a human pursuit as it is a scientific pursuit, and we must treat it as such by operationalizing our compassion among our teams, within our communities, and between individuals.
  • Finally, ego has no place in medicine, and mission-focused collaboration holds the keys to our ultimate success.

Cardiovascular Professionals Week (CVP Week 2021) is a valuable platform to share information, reinforce community, fight apathy, recognize greatness, and fortify our incredible teams.

This year, celebration and recognition are not “extra” to the work of healing patients and saving lives – it is an integral part of those efforts. We urge you to take the opportunity to recognize your colleagues this February 14 – 20, 2021, and to do so knowing that you are making a tangible difference in the effectiveness of your team.

We are here to help you in any way possible. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for suggestions, assistance, and support. Our CVP Week Planning Document is freely available to assist you as well.

Thank you for all that you do, now and every day.

In Solidarity,

Zach McElgunn
Education Director
Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals

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