Practicing from the Heart in the age of Technology
It was on November 1st 1938, that the racing horse Seabiscuit, made history winning against War Admiral.
Seabiscuit was small and ugly, his legs were crooked, and he injured often. He was named "sea biscuit" a hard bread eaten by sailors, because of his undesirability. It was during the Great Depression, and people needed their spirit lifted by a winner, and Seabiscuit did not seem the one to do it. His trainer had given up on him and he was all but forgotten. Then someone saw potential in him and bought him. A new trainer and jockey also saw prospects and started training him anew. They discovered that if they let him study his opponent, he would feel superior, stare them down and win. So it was that he started winning and on November 1st 1938, a race was set just between him and a younger, attractive horse named War Admiral at Pimlico Race Tracks in Maryland to a sold-out crowd. Millions more listened on the radio. For the first half of the race, they were running evenly, then his jockey eased up on him and let him get a good look at War Admiral, and that did it. As though saying "Oh no, you don't!" he sped off and won the race by four lengths. At one-to-four odds, against him, he not only had a great win, he gave a much-needed boost to a dispirited America during those trying times.
If history has taught us anything, it is that - like Seabiscuit - winners do better if allowed to proceed on their own terms. They cannot be forced to win. Healthcare providers, too, do better without the unnecessary demands of managed care organizations, legislatures, and legal system. Not a single doctor working for an organization has ever won the Nobel Prize. The most unlikely winners in our profession have been solo practitioners serving humanity, often in most dire condition. We salute them all.