The story is of a doctor named Laura Esserman who worked at University of California San Francisco Medical Center. The problem was simple. Women who found a lump in their breast were coming into the medical center and after their appointment were waiting weeks for an answer for a diagnosis. Laura thought that this was wrong. Why can’t a woman come in, be seen and by the end of that day have an answer? The current waiting time was agonizing for her to think about.
The barriers were simple too. Politics. Like everywhere else, where the money flowed, the power was found. At UCSF, it was the radiology and pathology departments. Getting all the necessary departments to work together to achieve such an efficient turn-a-round was impossible. Or so she was told.
Laura started small. “Her best assets for creating change were her own tenacity and her ability to sell a vision of what breast cancer care could be. The clinic was organized and was open one day a week. Her passion soon became contagious. “More surgeons started to get involved, and then nurses, and counselors, and support staff, and the snowball began. Eventually, the Breast Care Center achieved enough success that it was offered an entire floor in a new cancer center being constructed by UCSF.”
It’s easy to read about inspirational stories like this one and fail to feel inspired yourself. What’s an idea you have? How can you make it into a reality? I really enjoyed reading Switch. I encourage you to pick up a copy and read through it yourself. I think you’ll find it not only inspirational, but also very practical.