Small School Opportunities that can TRANSFORM you (and Healthcare)

I recently had the opportunity to attend the TRANSFORM conference, a three day conference held here in Rochester. The conference brings together innovators in the field of health care. The conference's focus is on how to make the delivery and experience of health care better for patients. I greatly enjoyed all of the speakers. My favorite session was "Connecting for Change". One of the speakers message's at this session particularly resonated with me; his name is Rushika Fernaneopulle. His key point was about the need to innovate not just improve. His practice to lower primary care costs and keep "at-risk" patients out of the hospital was enlightening and thought-provoking, not to mention proven. His experience illustrates that progress can be made on these difficult issues. His energy and creativity were contagious. As a result of the conference, I feel challenged to innovate as well.

On a lighter note, Garrison Keillor closed out the event. My favorite quote of his was "[Mayo Clinic has] international experience with small town manners." I couldn't agree more with this charming summation. I would extend his quote to include not only Mayo Clinic, but also the University of Minnesota-Rochester. This University's experience is like no other. The subjects are interrelated and taught in an integrated fashion by professors and instructors who know me by first name. Class sizes are kept small. Finally, the capstone experience is designed in conjunction with the University to fit my experience and aspirations; all while maintaining the highest standards of performance and expectations.

The TRANSFORM conference was a great opportunity to apply my education to the real world and the issues inherent in the complex healthcare environment. Everyone seemed committed to making positive changes to the systems in place; while at the same time, respecting the work that had gone before. I would definitely recommend attending the conference if the opportunity arose.
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