I play in an amateur blues funk combo. Yesterday we had a gig at a local Jazz club. Hear it here. We played in a lineup of 9 amateur community bands, each led by a professional musician. An entrepreneurial professional created more than 20 such groups, Morningside Studio. All of us aspiring musicians have a chance to advance our musical dreams. Already quasi experts in our instruments (also taking individual lessons), we’re learning about making music as a team. It got me thinking about health care. The vast majority of people and caregivers are amateurs gigging with professionals. Unlike the musicians, most have no interest in health care, just there because they have to, gone when they don’t. Others have great ability in their own instruments, their bodies, learning about working with a health care team. Some health care professionals are good team members. Others are not. Some are good teachers. Other not so much. Even the professionals are amateurs when it comes to their own health. For the most part, the only professional patients are those with chronic illness.
I’m struck by this constant challenge in healthcare: amateurs and professionals working together with that toxic overlay of big business. Can I learn anything from the combo experience? Well, I can leave a group if I’m not simpatico with the professional. I can usually leave my clinician if we’re not aligned, but it’s much harder. I learn as much from fellow amateur musicians as I do from the professional. I learn much from others with chronic illness, multiple sclerosis, and others fine tuning their lives and their health. I look for one pearl a session from the professional musician. I’m delighted when I see it. Same with sessions with health professionals. Arrogant distracted professional musicians are a drag. Arrogant distracted health professionals can be dangerous. It’s a matter of degree. Hat’s off to amateurs learning to work with a team.