If you look back at a day (or a year, or a decade) and feel upset

The point of healthcare should be freedom to do what matters most to you. 
After the pandemic I noticed something strange. My colleagues in the ER were telling me the same things as my patients. 

"I’m so anxious and trapped. I have no idea what I’m doing. I want to quit."

From the outside, wealthy physicians have little in common with someone with uncontrolled migraines, or a bad work injury, or cancer that keeps coming back. But the fundamentals are the same: it hurts to not be living the life you want to be living. 
If you’re trapped, it’s time to get the hell out.  
What traps people? The knee-jerk response to this question is external factors: an abuser, a diagnosis, a new global respiratory virus. Sometimes we are taken hostage by forces external to us, sure. But more often we’re hostaging ourselves. 
We feel trapped when there is a mismatch between our stated priorities and what we’re doing. My doctor colleagues saw themselves as doers and givers, yet in the hospital they increasingly were behaving like powerless, bitter complainers. 
My patients envisioned a life free of limitations, active, attractive, and respected. Instead their self-agency trickled away with every doctor-dictated clinic appointment, every passing day getting sicker and weaker and less motivated to look after themselves. 

The point of healthcare should be freedom to do what matters most to you. 

And freedom means different things to different people. That’s why the first job with a patient is to learn what health enabling an unencumbered life would look like. It may have less to do with preventing every conceivable cancer or wrinkle and more to do with energy, or willpower, or a sense of calm through any storm, or not needing pain meds. 
That foundation of understanding is missing from much of modern medicine, and it’s the principle I knew I needed to start from with Carte Clinics.  
I spent several months visiting my patients after they went home from the ER. My ER colleagues who were burnt out of the hospital came too. We’re finding new ways to practice medicine in a more tech-savvy, less-hospital-centered world. 
Once you have it, freedom can’t be unlearned. 

“When you think about it, mostly, a cage is air — ” 

Time to think for myself is worth more than anyone can pay me. I love being a doctor, but I knew I dreamed of inventing a better clinic model in medicine, and if I didn’t take a bet on big ideas, I would resent any day-to-day work I did instead. 
So I work fewer shifts. I spend time finding the best doctors and clinics in the country, meeting with problem solvers, and researching. I prioritize time outside with my son. 
When I work in the ER, now I come with gratitude and energy, ready to go the extra mile for patients. 

Not all ER doctors can work fewer shifts and forego the income, I understand. But plenty who can, don’t, and complain instead of changing their circumstances. 

I’m excited to share the vision of Carte Clinics with our clients. I hope we untrap lots of patients and doctors in the days and years to come.
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