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October 19, 2020

Building an army of heroes, one choice at a time

Choices. We make them each and every second of our lives: The choice of what to do right now, what to eat, how to live our lives, how authentic we should be, what we choose as our profession. Everything in life is a choice, without exception.
Recently, though, it feels as if we have been stripped of our ability to make choices. It feels like we are not in control. But now more than ever is when we have to take a hard look at ourselves and examine the choices we have made to lead us to where we are today.
When we do so, as physician recruiters, we should see that our choices have led us to a career that calls for pride.
How your choice matters
The choice we made at one point of our life to join health care has placed each and every one of us at the forefront of this world pandemic. And it is now that we must stop for a moment, among this chaos, and remind ourselves that, collectively, we make a difference.
We are the engine that propels forward our health care heroes. We are the conduit, the catalyst to assemble the team of providers that dons masks and protective gear with a relentless conviction to serve.

You make choices every day, and those choices determine the candidates you recruit.
Our everyday choices
It wasn’t until recently that I realized the magnitude that my everyday choices have as a ripple effect in our world. We have all probably heard about the butterfly effect, where one gentle flap of a butterfly’s wings has the potential to cascade a myriad of effects, many of which we will never witness firsthand.
The same happens with what we do every day when we sit at our desks and have the choice - I would even say it’s the power - to make choices as to which CVs we consider and which we don’t. It all starts (and sometimes ends) with us. It is now more than ever that we must take stock of this fact and accept it for it what it truly means. Our choices, even at that very moment, have a profound effect.
Sometimes we run through our days preoccupied with other issues and casually look at a CV, making a quick decision whether to vet it further or just toss it aside. How many times do you go back to a CV that crossed your desk before and realize you missed a morsel of information that now made this candidate ideal? The CV didn’t change; your choice to pay attention to it did.
Sometimes we do this more than we care to admit, not realizing that the very CV we look at belongs to someone who might one day treat your sister’s cancer, and be the one to hold her hand when there’s nothing else that can be done. The person behind that CV may deliver or treat a child you love. The person behind that CV may be the one to don a mask and protective gear and be the first line of defense that will save the life of your grandpa, your colleague, your neighbor.
Be mindful of the choices you make
When you accept that the choices you make matter beyond what you can currently understand, you will realize your ability to truly make a difference. It is only then that you may, as I did, come to the realization that what we choose to do in our profession is actually our calling. What we do for a living provides for our ability to live and for others to do the same. Believe with humility that you are indeed the conduit that already has, and continues to, build the army of heroes that will carry us forward and through these trying times.
Mariela Alvarez-Sosa is the administrative director of the physician recruitment and engagement division for Memorial Healthcare System. Before joining Memorial, Mariela served as Associate Administrator for Florida Medical Center, a Tenet facility. She had planned to speak about the topic of this article during this year’s AAPPR conference.

Read PracticeLink articles from Mariela Alvarez-Sosa

Mariela Alvarez-Sosa, MBA, SPHR, FASPR

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