One of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, has been attributed by the internet with these insightful words: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” Take a full sixty seconds and contemplate those words. What situations do you regret? What decisions can you make that will positively change the future? Life is about choices. Every decision that we consider comes with a price tag and, therefore, we must study the facts, deliberate the concerns and, then, progress to the best choice.
Whether you are in your late twenties or your thirties, or if you are retiring, you will have the opportunity to purchase a home. What goes into your data base as you struggle to make the best decision that will give you security and a sense of calm?
A home-seeker can start by thinking of those oft repeated words: location, location, location. You may love the West Coast, but your decision-making process might include a consideration of the fires as well as other geographically anchored issues. Many would love to move to the Gulf Region, particularly Louisiana with its charm and famous haunts such as may be found in New Orleans, but you may be checked by fearing the loss of all your possessions due to rising sea levels of certain cities and parishes, or power of nature in a devastating hurricane with little time and ability to flee.
Who purchases a home and property without the most up-to-date knowledge and the most inclusive insurance? The purchaser can become part of a geographical catastrophe if they are slothful when it comes to due diligence: the global realities of war and poverty, regional development and housing markets, and, particularly, climate change accompanied by extreme heat, drought, wildfires in the western states and, more recently, downpours, causing flooding in the bread basket, and the increasing threat caused by hurricanes in the eastern states.
The slogan says “hindsight is 20/20.” In retrospect, what would even the most adventurous people change as they evaluate their choices? The decisions that we make as we enter into the profession of healing need to be far more carefully studied and contemplated. We have seen the toll that the pandemic has taken on every medical professional working around the clock, dealing with contamination, suffering, and death. This includes every member of the medical support team, including, among many, physicians, PAs and NPs, nurses, ambulance personnel, and our police and fire departments.
What are some of the more vulnerable specialties to practice in, such as emergency medicine, nursing home gerontology, urgent care, and mental health? We must care for individuals and communities confronted with disaster, tragedy, and loss of income and belongings. We boldly confront epidemics, pandemics, drug and supply shortages, and changing legislation. Some have made the choice to care for our communities at the price of their own lives and the welfare of their children. We are most often the unsung heroes while the spotlight centers on politicians, gross earnings, and disastrous events of the day. Amidst these considerations are the false assertions that:
- “PAs and NPs do not need additional malpractice insurance;”
- “You can never lose your home in a malpractice case;”
- “You have only a very slight chance of a criminal charge due to a medical error.”
Yet we have seen two nationally covered events, in 2022 alone, where a medical or nursing professional has been criminally charged.
I recently received a quote from a former patient: “Don’t carry your mistakes around with you. Instead, place them under your feet and use them as stepping stones to rise above them.” What great advice to all of us as we are confronted with the results of our decisions. Home buyers and clinicians have quite a bit in common: a need to do their homework and to have the appropriate insurance to ensure that their money has brought them protection from the firestorms that we may potentially face in our futures. I have been an advocate for personal liability insurance for all PAs and NPs. With our expanded degrees and diverse responsibilities, we are more vulnerable than ever. We need to awaken from our dreams and make an active decision to change this variable today.
“It almost seems impossible until it’s done.” ~ Nelson Mandela
Written For CM&F By: Robert M. Blumm, PA, DFAAPA, PA-C Emeritus
CM&F Clinical Advisor