As is custom nowadays, if you read a profile about any prominent public servant, you finish the article and feel a tad icky. Sometimes, however, the stars line up, and a story renews our faith in who is doing ours, the people’s business in DC. In this case, it’s one of our own.
Most of you know Patrick Conway, the chief medical officer at CMS–one of his many roles there–as a hospitalist and frequent speaker at SHM. He also happens to be a humble, soft-spoken and delightful guy. He sees patients, still, and also has the gift of observation and the power to listen to folks, a rare offerings nowadays. In my neck of the woods, we call that a mensch.
He gets a terrific portrait in The New York Times today, and I encourage all of you to read it. Here’s the quote I found most descriptive (and an easy one to gloss over):
In 2007, during the Bush administration, he came to Washington as a White House fellow and worked for Michael O. Leavitt, who was then the secretary of health and human services. “I have no idea whether Patrick is a Republican or a Democrat,” Mr. Leavitt said. “He came to government not for politics, but for policy.” Voter registration records list the doctor as unaffiliated with any political party.
That from a polarized town whose notables have a shelf life as short as warm milk. You have got to be exceptional to survive. And survive (and thrived) he has. So go read.