Change, opportunity, and the chance to pursue our passions (locum tenens, education, activism, and photography)

I remind myself frequently that change is good. This year the community hospital at which I practiced emergency medicine for more than a decade relocated. Patient volumes dropped dramatically. Ironically, in this world of physician shortages and long emergency department waits, I found myself working fewer shifts than I wanted.

But here’s the part where change is good. My wife and I started thinking about options. We thought about going to interesting locations where she could pursue her passions—she’s an activist and a photographer –while I practiced medicine and developed my other passion—science education. Locum tenens offered us the chance to at least try to have it all.

I’m now working emergency medicine assignments with VISTA and finding more time to present and refine the first module of an educational program I developed that is called Inner World Discovery (IWD).

IWD Part 1- The Immune System /HIV is a multimedia presentation that begins with professionally-created animation on CD-ROM that deconstructs complex human biology through the use of metaphor, which makes learning both engaging and accessible to a variety of audiences. I included dozens of unique graphics, illustrations, and cases from the emergency room. (Find out more at www.innerworlddiscovery.com.)

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© Silverstein Foundation

For the past three years, I’ve been presenting the program to high school students nationwide through a powerful internet architecture known as the MAGPI network, a division of the University of Pennsylvania.And now I am able to present it to nurses, lab personnel, medical students, residents, and others at the hospitals I work in through VISTA. The first hospital applied for and received CME for the nursing staff. A bonus!

I am excited about the future of IWD and our new locum tenens lifestyle.I recently partnered with Penn State University on a grant submission to develop four more programs over the next five years.