How can we improve the training of our caregivers to prepare for the healthcare environment of future? That was the question Lance Earnshaw from Homecare asked CEO Marc Harrison, MD, in the latest Thanks for Asking podcast. Some of the things they talked about:

  • What’s Intermountain’s philosophy on partnering with medical schools, including DO schools, for medical training?
  • What changes do we need to make in our training programs for all clinicians?
  • What skills do medical professionals need to be successful?

Dr. Marc Harrison: Today I'm with Lance Earnshaw, who works in internal process control for Intermountain Homecare. Lance, please tell us a little bit about who you are, what you do. And then, I'd love to hear what's on your mind today.

Lance Earnshaw: Absolutely, thanks Mark. I am, I've been with Intermountain for seven years, working in various areas of the pharmacy. And I recently matriculated into medical school, I'll be starting at Rocky Vista College of Osteopathic Medicine, this coming fall.

Dr. Marc Harrison: Congratulations.

Lance Earnshaw: Thank you.

Dr. Marc Harrison: Yeah. Which campus are you going to be at?

Lance Earnshaw: This will be the Southern Utah campus, which leads into my question. As we see changes in Utah, with availability of physician training, we see a new campus down in Southern Utah, my campus, there's a planned osteopathic school in Provo. Idaho has now opened an osteopathic medical school, what is Intermountain's overall philosophy on partnering with medical schools, including osteopathic medical schools, for physician training?

Dr. Marc Harrison: Great. Well I actually had the opportunity to go and visit your future medical school, and meet with their leadership, and they're great. I think you're going to have a really good experience down there. As it happens, this week, our oldest kid, he started his first clinical rotation. So he's a rising third year medical student. He's so excited, and I'm excited for you. It's going to be a great ride. So tell me why you want to be a doctor, in this era.

Lance Earnshaw: I have had the wonderful experience of working in these different facilities. I've worked at Primary Children's, I've worked at LDS Hospital. And I've had the opportunity to meet, and be a part of the team, that has influenced patients, and seen their lives improve, in an amazing way. And that's what it boils down to. It boils down to being able to make change in someone's life.

I was, the NICU at IMC ... I'm going to get a little emotional ... Saved my daughter's life, absolutely. And as I observed that NICU team, and I observed the neonatologists there, that's an amazing thing to do.

Dr. Marc Harrison: It is.

Lance Earnshaw: And healthcare is an amazing place to be. And to be able to change people's lives, to helping them to be able to walk to work, and walk at work, to being able to save someone's life, and heal an infection, and be part of that, any part of that spectrum is an amazing place to be.

Dr. Marc Harrison: Well, it's people like you that make me really optimistic for the future. I wholeheartedly still tell people, there's nothing better than working in healthcare, and in keeping people well. So, whether you're going to be a doctor, or whether you're going to be a nurse, or whether you're going to work on the finance side of things, no greater honor than to helping other people, another person, either get better, or to stay well.

So go get them. The world's going to be better for your generation. You probably count as a millennial, I would guess, right?

Lance Earnshaw: People throw me into that category, for sure.

Dr. Marc Harrison: People throw you ... And I love the millennials. Mission driven, open minded, color blind, ready to try new things, really flexible at work, I think you guys are great, and you're going to make healthcare way better than my generation has made it.

So you asked me a little bit about partnering. Very open to partnering with a wide variety of medical schools. I'd like for the training aspect of Intermountain to actually grow, rather than shrink. But I know you asked me specifically around physician training, but the way I see the future of healthcare delivery, it's really even more of a team sport than it has been, going forward.

And I want to make sure that we're training all manner of different kinds of folks. And I think some of these roles, we aren't even going to know what they are right now. They're going to probably be around community health, and community health workers, navigators, care coordinators, who function in expanded roles, beyond what we currently expect them to be in.

Lance Earnshaw: Absolutely. That's actually a fantastic way to lead in to, maybe a great follow up question is, you've said this, this is very clear around us, and in the media, healthcare is changing, and it's changing fast.

Dr. Marc Harrison: Really fast.

Lance Earnshaw: What do you foresee, changes that need to be, that maybe need to be integrated or adapted, within all of our training programs, whether that's a pharmacist, a nurse, a physician, what changes do we need to make?

Dr. Marc Harrison: So that's, thanks for the softball, right?

Lance Earnshaw: I know, right?

Dr. Marc Harrison: I think there are a couple things that I'd like for us all to learn how to do better, myself included. How do we play as a team? It's something that we all think we know how to do, but it's also a skill. And then, part of that is, how do you lead a team? Again, a skill that, just like anything, you get better with coaching and practice.

And then finally, how do we train people, and select people, who are optimistic, and have the growth mindset, as opposed to a fixed mindset? I think that's a term that gets used around here. So it's, how do you approach change and evolution as an opportunity, as opposed to something that is really scary? And think that's a muscle that can be exercised, and made stronger.

Lance Earnshaw: That's great.

Dr. Marc Harrison: Yeah.

Lance Earnshaw: You know, I'm really proud of my history, here with Intermountain. And as I leave, I think that this will be-

Dr. Marc Harrison: You're only leaving temporarily, right?

Lance Earnshaw: That's what I'm about to say is, I think I'm going to have to work hard, because I think in the future Intermountain's going to be a valued place to be. And I think I'm going to have a little bit of competition coming back, so I'll be working hard to make that happen.

Dr. Marc Harrison: I suspect we'll have room for you. Do you know what specialty you want to go into? Or is it sort of TBD?

Lance Earnshaw: You know, I've seen so many, and have looked up to so many of our hospitalists, in essence working at LDS, and I think that's something that's currently on my radar.

Dr. Marc Harrison: I bet you'd be great at it. What I think is going to be really interesting, is that I think hospitalists are also going to take care of people who have hospital at home services.

Lance Earnshaw: Absolutely.

Dr. Marc Harrison: So I think it's going to be really interesting. And you also might be running a team at your hospital, but also working with a team at another hospital, or consulting on patients who are tens, hundreds, or thousands of miles away.

Lance Earnshaw: This is the coolest idea ever, to think that ... I mean, that's the future healthcare system, in effect. It's amazing that that's what we could enter into, as a medical student, as future professionals, this is going to be an amazing time for healthcare.

Dr. Marc Harrison: There's not been a better time. I think it's, there's also not been a time when change has happened so quickly, but I think that that's the opportunity. And no one's better positioned than we are to make it happen. So thanks, and good luck Lance.

Lance Earnshaw: Thank, Marc.

Dr. Marc Harrison: Thanks, pleasure.