Posts by Jordan Messler

The Head and the Heart

One of my favorite bands, The Head and the Heart, released Signs of Light last month. A more pop album than their prior folk rock versions, it’s still a good listen. The group states the origin of the name comes from a recognition that doing what you love – in this case, music – creates unintended sacrifices in the rest of life, such as relationships and friendships. Life is filled with these balances. The world today seems to be polarizing on notions of ideas that feel right versus ideas that are thoughtful. In reality, it’s some combination of both – to sell ideas, they require simple messaging with depth of thought. That same philosophy applies in life, and of course, in the hospital as well. Hospital comes from hospes, the Latin word for stranger, host or guest. Hence, the origin of similar words such as hostel, hospice, hotel and hospitality. A patient is…

Must-Listen Podcasts: Including Ezra Klein’s Interview with Atul Gawande

I have a seven-minute drive to work. Sounds like a brutal commute, I know. It gets worse. I drive past two golf courses, a multitude of palm trees and skirt by the intracostal before I arrive at the hospital. It’s a tough ride. To cope with the challenge, I used to spend that time listening to one or two songs on the way in and would often call a family member on the way home. Seven-minute calls are about as much as I can handle. It really only takes my mom two minutes to make me feel guilty. “When am I going to see the grandkids?” I say this because over the last year, I’ve now become addicted to podcasts. Which means I lost my seven minutes of morning wake-up music, and my mom really lays on that guilt because I don’t call anymore. Also, the seven minutes now seem too…

Can Eating Well Improve Patient and Provider Satisfaction?

I am conflicted when I travel. Do I savor the new city and adventure in small doses or try to see as much as I can? I favor the former but often find myself navigating like the latter. For instance, during a recent visit to NYC, we scurried from activity to activity, hungry pizza rats in the city. During our yearly visits, we seek out basic New York staples.  It was a day of bagels at a stand in Chelsea Market, NY pizza in an Uber as we hustled with the kids across town, a cart knish and pretzel outside Central Park, and a hot dog dinner standing up on my sister’s patio on the Upper West Side. As we lingered outside, my wife pointed out that we ate all our meals standing up, constantly on the move. We reached our food goals, without taking the time to enjoy and appreciate…

Gotta Ticket to Hamilton?

A question searching for answers... “How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a Forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence Impoverished, in squalor Grow up to be a hero and scholar?” I wish I heard those lines rapped in person, but getting Hamilton tickets is as impossible as getting appropriate ER admissions. It’s hard to escape a story about our 10 dollar founding father these days; everyone knows it (though few have seen it), cite lines, rap patriotic tunes... Hamilton reinvigorated theater and energized many to reflect on the history of our country, diversity in the arts, and the importance of theater. Theater, one of the oldest arts, was developed as entertainment, but also as a laboratory for ideas, a search for discovery of what is like to be human. A place to try out new ideas while asking tough…

Peak Performance: Messler’s Hospitalist Hierarchy of Needs

Your alarm goes off at 6am. You show up for work, with your list of about 13 patients. Your bedside nursing team greets you and everyone else by their first name. You have time to see everyone twice today, and sit in on two family meetings, while your colleague holds your pager. After rounds you report a medication error to leadership, and are rewarded for your attention to a culture of safety, which the hospital treats as a learning opportunity. During the day, a committee meeting on an improvement project that interests you starts on time and ends early. Your input is valued, as is everyone else’s at the meeting. At the session’s end, you are rewarded with a new title. Leadership reminds everyone the essential role for hospitalists and thanks them for another great quarter. Additionally, you are told your title comes with a new perk, no night call…
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