Recovery: Remedy, Rectify, Reform, and Redeem

As healthcare’s predominant and most influential clinical leaders for the industry, physicians have a unique opportunity to be even more influential in creating and maintaining fresher approaches in healthcare. We must consider how best to promote recovery from the worldwide pandemic and help rectify healthcare’s focus toward reformation and redemption with positive approaches and inputs. Physician leaders are already perceived as a driving force behind attaining that goal, but we can do more.


All generations of the world’s citizens are experiencing what will be recognized in history as a truly monumental period of global adjustment.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to provide us with opportunities to learn and grow from the experiences we witness and the stresses it has placed on so many of us and our organizations. Similarly, recent events related to the ongoing oppression of minorities and the lack of social justice for these groups have created additional opportunities to learn and grow. Tied up in these shifts are the realities of tumultuous politics and struggling economies.

On June 25, The New York Times opinion columnist David Brooks wrote of “five gigantic changes” happening in America all at once:

  1. “[W]e are losing the fight against COVID-19. Our behavior doesn’t have anything to do with the reality around us. We just got tired so we’re giving up.”

  2. “[A]ll Americans, but especially white Americans, are undergoing a rapid education on the burdens African-Americans carry every day . . . . [P]ublic opinion is shifting with astonishing speed.”

  3. “[W]e’re in the middle of a political realignment. The American public is vehemently rejecting Donald Trump’s Republican Party.”

  4. Social justice is sweeping the culture, with the ideology that “History is essentially a power struggle between groups, some of which are oppressors and others of which are oppressed . . . . Words can thus be a form of violence . . . .”

  5. “[W]e could be on the verge of a prolonged economic depression.”

Arguably from this list, numbers 1, 4, and 5 are also recognized globally, while differing versions of numbers 2 and 3 are occurring in other countries as well.

In his recent book, The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life, Brooks explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community. While I am not necessarily a David Brooks groupie, these recent readings did create opportunity for me to further ponder the ramifications of these profound influences and their impacts. And not surprisingly, I found myself considering the physician approach: how to consider remedies, in the context of our association, to help rectify a situation. (Arguably, this approach is better than my surgical background would suggest, whereby the usual remedy is to simply cut something out or off before putting it all back together . . . . )

Make no mistake, I do not have actual remedies, but would like to share ways in which AAPL offers possible remedies for healthcare through physician leadership.

To help us along, refer to the definitions in the sidebar, which are from the Merriam-Webster dictionary (

AAPL is the only organization solely focused on providing full-service professional development, leadership education, and management training oriented toward the physician workforce and the organizations in which physicians work or are represented.

Our robust portfolio of information resources is unparalleled and always growing. And, the networking community of AAPL is solidified with a custom-designed AAPL-built technology platform that serves as the life-blood for all that AAPL provides across its deep catalog of programs, products, and services. Taken together, AAPL offers an unparalleled suite of resources that truly embellish the user experience.

AAPL remains committed in its vision, mission, and values by focusing on how best to create significant change for healthcare. Admittedly, the past several months have demanded that AAPL focus on its core strengths and capabilities. But, as the coming months demonstrate a better-understood trajectory for an industry currently under significant economic pressures, AAPL will expand on its unique position in the industry to help rectify and reconcile the changes needed through the platform of physician leadership. Our membership and various constituents will become more pivotal addressing these efforts than in the past.

AAPL has maintained its own path of reformation as we continue to transform to a leading-edge contemporized association fully capable in digital environments. Our association has been under transformation for a few years now. With the arrival of COVID-19, the opportunity to further transform AAPL has been met with fortitude and exactness. The impact on AAPL has been difficult but has also represented an opportunity to leverage as we take advantage of its influences. In coming months, there will be obvious changes to how AAPL delivers its programs, products, and services, while also continuing to recognize the legacy of a 45-year-old organization.

In so doing, AAPL has been continually redeeming itself (changing for the better). Beyond what has already been described, AAPL has long been on a positive trajectory of addressing the many complicated issues related to diversity and inclusion. For several years, we have delivered numerous strong examples of programs and products in this regard. In fact, I am proud to state that we are often considered by others to have been somewhat ahead of the association world in general with our efforts. The AAPL membership is becoming more diverse, the AAPL staff is very diverse, and our board of directors is fully diverse. But most certainly, more needs to be done in terms of supporting social justice, and our society as a whole is more aware and receptive to change with the issues of diversity and inclusion. AAPL, as always, will be on the leading edge.

In realizing these ponderances, I also appreciate more fully how AAPL is becoming better as an association designed to be there for each of you in times of profound change. Borrowing from Brooks’ book, AAPL is here to help you better define (indirectly) your overall life’s meaning and purpose as you reflect on the next stages in the midst of global shifts; your commitment to a spouse, significant other, and family through the AAPL wellness initiatives; your vocation as a physician leader through the AAPL programs; your philosophy or faith in yourself and others of this privileged profession; and your commitment to your community of peers who are always here to help you continue learning and growing in these complex times.

On a personal level, I am exceedingly grateful and indebted to the AAPL Board of Directors and the AAPL staff. Collectively and individually, members of these groups have demonstrated the characteristics of true leaders while AAPL itself has necessarily made its own adjustments to the shifting sands of change over the past months. Because of their commitment and leadership, our association continues to seek the best and most optimal ways in which to continue to provide the AAPL constituency with an array of programs, products, and services amidst the ongoing ramifications of change.

A refreshed culture of optimism for healthcare is possible in the coming weeks, months, and years. Leading and creating change is our association’s overall intent. AAPL focuses on maximizing the potential of physician-led, interprofessional leadership to help create personal and organizational transformation that benefits patient outcomes, improves workforce wellness, and refines the delivery of healthcare internationally.

We must all continue to seek deeper levels of professional development and to recognize ways we can each generate constructive influence at all levels. As physician leaders, let us become more engaged, stay engaged, and help others to become engaged. Creating a broader level of positive transformation in healthcare — and society — is within our reach. Our patients will appreciate the outcome.



Definition of remedy

  1. a medicine, application, or treatment that relieves or cures a disease,

  2. something that corrects or counteracts,

  3. the legal means to recover a right or to prevent or obtain redress for a wrong.

Definition of remediation

  1. the act or process of remedying.

Definition of rectify \transitive verb, rectification \noun

  1. to set right,

  2. to purify, especially by repeated or fractional distillation,

  3. to correct by removing errors.

Definition of reform

  1. to put or change into an improved form or condition, b: to amend or improve by change of form or removal of faults or abuses,

  2. to put an end to (an evil) by enforcing or introducing a better method or course of action,

  3. to induce or cause to abandon evil ways.

Definition of reformation

  1. the act of reforming: the state of being reformed,

  2. capitalized: a 16th century religious movement marked ultimately by rejection or modification of some Roman Catholic doctrine and practice and establishment of the Protestant churches,

  3. the act or process of improving something or someone by removing or correcting faults, problems, etc.

Definition of redeem

  1. a: to buy back, b: to get or win back

  2. to free from what distresses or harms, such as: a) to free from captivity by payment of ransom, b) to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental, c) to release from blame or debt, d) to free from the consequences of sin

  3. to change for the better

Definition of redemption

  1. the act, process, or an instance of redeeming





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