Dr. Brent James was a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Senior Advisor at the Leavitt Group and a Senior Advisor at Health Catalyst, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He holds faculty appointments at the Stanford University School of Medicine and at several other universities. He was formerly the Vice President and Chief Quality Officer at Intermountain Healthcare. In this episode, we discussed his leadership background, value-based medicine, as well as his outlook on the future of medicine. We hope you enjoy this episode of Leading the Rounds.
A few years ago, I found CrossFit. Since then, I have spent a large share of my free time training and improving my health and fitness. As with any sport, there was a large learning curve. However, as I trained, my mind and body adapted. I made strides both athletically and mentally that I never thought were possible. I never imagined that this preparation and development would translate to a seemingly opposing task: medical school.
It’s the proverbial question. Starting from the first time you utter an interest in medicine. Your parents, your friends, your mentors, your teachers, admissions committees — everyone asks you, “Why do you want to be a doctor?” This is not just a question you should think about before medical school, but one to revisit throughout your career.
Despite this, most medical students will obtain little formal leadership training. We seek to improve our leadership abilities as burgeoning physicians. We developed this podcast to challenge ourselves to explore ideas in leadership development and how they apply to medical training.
As a White male, there are certain things that I will never understand. I was raised in an upper-middle-class family in a safe neighborhood — one with adequate resources, education and funding. I have never had to live in fear in my community, worry about my safety on my street, or been threatened or condemned because of how I look. My reality is inexplicably shaped by the privilege and opportunities that I have been given. I realize that to me, racism appears nonexistent because I have not seen it.