It is a word in team meetings that I insist is not to be used, and is not to be used in ANY of our messaging. There are days my skin crawls when I hear it. The “R” word. If you are a HCW you likely know what I’m referring to.

The “R” word - R for resiliency.

We are asked to learn to be more resilient. That we just need to give more, bend more, adapt to our surroundings, our systems and policies. 

We are OVERbent. As is our nature, we give and give and our training, our being, one who is drawn to a life of service in healthcare, already practices resiliency.

When I hear that word - it implies that I am not giving enough, my colleagues are not giving enough. That there is a flaw in us, that we need to do better, be better.

No. Hold up. Let’s recognize that the flaw is in the system. The healthcare system - globally - needs to shift. We need to start recognizing the humanness of HCWs and the inhumane way they are being treated - by administrators, governments, and unfortunately sometimes, patients.

Through COVID-19 I lost many of my staff. Many could not continue facing what other sectors would classify as abuse.

Death threats - yes I’ve had death threats as have an unbelievable amount of my colleagues.

This needs to stop. We can’t do it alone. We cannot change the system alone. We need to start together, in formation, and make our limits and boundaries clear. We need to support one another in doing so, so that the system can no longer “divide and conquer”.

We need our communities to stand with us and speak out/up for us - we often cannot speak up for ourselves for fear of losing our jobs.

Let’s support one another, stand up together and encourage our patients and our communities to speak up for us as well.  We need to be heard and be listened to, not learn to be more resilient. We already are resilient to do what we do and to have come this far.

So instead of resiliency let’s start using the “S” words:

Speak Up.

Stand Up

Support each other.

When we can’t speak up, we need to educate those around us on what the issues in healthcare are so that they can speak up for us. We need to shift the culture of medicine, not continue to support it by learning to be “more” of ANYTHING. 

We are enough.

We are formation.

Our name formation demonstrates that a shift is needed. Let’s do this together. 

As always, I love to hear from our community. If you have thoughts, comments, or a story you feel should be heard, please reach out - anonymous or otherwise.


Until my next progress note, 

We got this.

Dr. K

August 18, 2022 — Stephanie Ahlborn