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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

#HCSummit16 Day One

I'm not gonna post much tonight, I'm fried. I first left SFO at 11:50 a.m. PDT yesterday, headed for MIA on American Airlines flight 931 scheduled to arrive at 8:30 p.m. EDT. We taxied out, and the fully-loaded 767-300 lumbered left onto the takeoff runway. I wasn't paying attention, as I was totally absorbed in Siddartha Mukherjee's amazing book "The Gene: An Intimate History."

All of a sudden I look up and we're pulling back to the gate. "Ladies and gentlemen, as you can see we've had to return to the departure gate. There's a pressure seal problem with the front galley door. We've called for mechanics, and we'll advise you further shortly." After about 40 minutes we were advised they had a crew of 5 mechanics working the problem, and we'd have to de-plane so they could pressurize the cabin once repairs were complete to verify the integrity of the fix.

We eventually re-boarded and left for MIA around 3 p.m. SFO time. I got to my hotel a little after midnight. Ugh.

Finished the Mukherjee book during the flight. Wow.

When I completed the final draft of the six-hundred-page Emperor of All Maladies in May 2010, I never thought I would lift a pen to write another book. The physical exhaustion of writing Emperor was easy to fathom and overcome, but the exhaustion of imagination was unexpected. When the book won the Guardian First Book Prize that year, one reviewer complained that it should have been nominated for the Only Book Prize. The critique cut to the bone of my fears. Emperor had sapped all my stories, confiscated my passports, and placed a lien on my future as a writer; I had nothing more to tell. 

But there was another story: of normalcy before it tips into malignancy. If cancer, to twist the description of the monster from Beowulf, is the “distorted version of our normal selves,” then what generates the undistorted variants of our normal selves? Gene is that story— of the search for normalcy, identity, variation, and heredity. It is a prequel to Emperor’s sequel...

Mukherjee, Siddhartha (2016-05-17). The Gene: An Intimate History (Kindle Locations 8794-8802). Scribner. Kindle Edition.
A must-read for those contemplating the future of health care as it pertains to the dx and tx roles of the "omics."

Speaking of books. One of the morning breakout learning sessions was "How to lead by asking effective questions." It is based on the Henry Schein book "Humble Inquiry," which I've cited on this blog. I attended.

I recommend quadrangulating it with three others:

Good session, Far to much to really get at in any depth in 75 minutes, but well-presented. Elevator speech summary? Too much of interrogative discourse, particularly in the workplace, is comprised of implicitly accusatory or otherwise directive questioning. e.g., the "loaded questions," which are really assertions disingenuously voiced in the nominal forms of questions. The tactic is at once dishonest and counterproductive. Think "Talking Stick."

Read the Schein book.

I've shot some Day One pics (weak light notwithstanding), but I'm fixin' to crash. Will try to catch up tomorrow. Hate to miss the music tonight.


Were those "Trump Steaks" at lunch?

More to come...

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