Pamela Wible is my hero. A family physician in Eugene, Oregon, she had grown despondent about the practice of medicine which dehumanized both her and her patients.
After ten years on the treadmill, I was tired of being rude to people and neglecting myself—all in the name of health care. I hated interrupting patients to say, “Sorry, we’re out of time,” when I wanted to ask, “How can I help you?” So I dropped out of medicine and imagined returning to my college waitressing job just so I could be nice to people again. At least when I was a waitress, people appreciated me. And they left tips.
When I gave up doctoring, life seemed meaningless. I fell into a depression and didn’t get out of bed for six weeks.
Then—in a dream—came an epiphany: patients could create their own clinics! In my dream, I saw grandmothers and grandchildren, teachers and teenagers, farmers and firefighters—entire communities—coming together to build ideal clinics and hospitals.
Energized, I jumped out of bed. Feeling invincible, I phoned the newspaper and told the editor that I’d be opening an ideal clinic created entirely by our community. Then I called a series of town hall meetings and invited citizens to design the clinic of their dreams. I collected 100 pages of testimony, adopted ninety percent of the feedback, and opened our clinic one month later! In 2005, the people of Eugene, Oregon, had created the first community-designed ideal clinic in America.
Now reporters fly here from all over the country to study our clinic. Hundreds of ideal clinics have opened nationwide. Communities have even used our model to design ideal hospitals. I now know that just by living my dream, I can inspire others to live their dreams too.
So Pam Wible found that when she gave love she was loved; in healing she was, herself, healed.
Her most recent book “Pet Goats and Pap Smears” a series of brief irreverent, insightful and often humorous vignettes about day to day encounters of a family doc is the product of an open heart and the best thing since Ferrol Sams.
Pam isn’t new to writing, having co-authored “Goddess Shift: Women Leading For a Change” along with Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Aung San Suu Kyi and many others in 2010. A frequent contributor to NPR Pam has also appeared on CNN. Her blog is a hoot!
Check it out!