Matthew McConaughey, in accepting the Best Actor Oscar last night for his role in Dallas Buyers Club, had some advice that can apply directly to health care:
"There are three things I need each day. One, I need something to look up to, another to look forward to, and another is someone to chase."
Something to look up to.
For McConaughey it is his faith. For health care, it is our patients.
Patient-centered care is all the rage, but it only succeeds when patients are truly placed at an exalted level within the health care team. It is their care and it should be their voice that is loudest. When we place patient needs above all others, we keep focus on why we decided to be caregivers in the first place.
Something to look forward to.
McConaughey is all about family. His wife and three sons are the center of his world:
"You are the four people in my life that I want to make the most proud of me. Thank you."
Our patients are the center of our world. And our goal must be helping them achieve their best health in the most supportive manner possible. When they are proud of us for the care we delivered — and the way we delivered it — we can claim success.
Something to chase.
McConaughey is all about personal drive to always improve. He talked about chasing his "hero" — the person he wants to be 10 years from now. It's a goal he says he will never achieve:
"You see, every day, and every week, and every month, and every year of my life my hero is always ten years away. I'm never going to be my hero. I'm not going to attain that — I know I'm not — and that's fine with me because it keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing."
We need to embrace that ethos in health care as well and chase the ideals of the Triple Aim — better quality and better experiences for patients, delivered more affordably and more accessibly.
Congratulations to McConaughey for his Oscar win — and for an energizing speech that can inspire all of us to reach deeper and do better.
Read McConaughey's entire acceptance speech here.