On Teaching And Huey Lewis

(by Greg)

A few years ago I saw Huey Lewis in concert (yes, he still rocks).  He had some new material, but as you can imagine, Huey Lewis can’t really have a concert without playing “The Power of Love”.  He introduced this song with something to the effect of “when I wrote this song in 1985 I never imagined I would have to sing it every single day for the rest of my life”.  I got the impression he wasn’t as excited about singing this song as we were about hearing him sing it.

Back to Huey in a bit.

I did not come to Burundi to DO anesthesia, but rather to teach.  We are surrounded by an ocean of students, nursing, anesthesia and medical students.  Some students are assigned to my service for a day, some for a week, others for a month.  And so, I have an opportunity each and everyday to teach.  And given the limited duration I will have with each student, I have spent a significant amount of time reflecting on what is most important and how can I convey that information in a meaningful way.  Given that most of these students will work in settings with limited resources, how does one teach resuscitation and critical care to students who will work in hospitals without ventilators or defibrillators, and sometimes without oxygen.  

As a result, I have been trying to decide what are the 8 or 10 lessons I can teach that will impact the care these students can deliver, lessons that might one day save the lives of their patients.  And how can I present these topics in a way that will be cemented in their memories when presented with these problems in the future.  I have developed a series of “mini lessons” that I try to give every student who works with me.  And, as a result, I find myself giving the same “mini lessons” week after week, sometimes day after day.  And as I was teaching yesterday once again about the systematic approach to hypotension, the words of Huey Lewis returned to me ….. “when I signed up for this, I never thought I would be teaching the same lesson every day for the rest of my life”.  

It can be draining for sure.  And there are students who leave me frustrated and discouraged, and there are others who invigorate me and leave me filled with hope for the future of health care in Africa.  But deep down I feel confident that this is exactly what the Lord has called me to right now, and that there is no better way I could invest my time than in repeating these lessons day after day.  How does one find the strength to persevere in the face of monotony and sometimes discouragement?  Perhaps the answer is found in the words of Huey Lewis himself.  Maybe, just maybe it is found ..... in the power of love.  

Don't need money, don't take fame
Don't need no credit card to ride this train
It's strong and it's sudden and it's cruel sometimes
But it might just save your life
That's the power of love
That's the power of love
First time you feed it might make you sad
Next time you feed it might make you mad
But you'll be glad baby when you've found
That's the power that makes the world go round.



onewhostrives said...

Wow, incisive, insightful, classic ballad thrown in for good measure. Well said Greg!

Steph Flewelling said...

And, “love has a name...” to quote another more recent song.