‘The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.’
― Albert Einstein
‘We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them’
― Albert Einstein
‘Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.’
― Henry Ford
I didn’t want to open up with the Albert Einstein quotes because it felt a bit cliche, but all three of those quotes inform so well the ethos of my learning experiences in this class. Thinking was heavily involved in this class both in the content of what we were talking about, but also of course as a means of learning and solving problems in the class.
In reference to Henry Ford’s quote because this class, although it didn’t teach me, it was a great exercise in critically thinking. The reason why I used that picture of a boat in the beginning was because there were many times in this class where I, and I’m sure many of us, felt like that boat surrounded by a sea of ideas and considerations and problems that it only made sense to either give up and stop sailing or to just chose a direction and don’t look back. This course was an exercise in not doing either of those but instead thinking critically about all the potential routes and ideas that conflicted, making a decision or argument and being able to back it up. This course challenged me with not only being okay with being in the boat in the middle of the sea, but to actually find joy in having so many ideas to think about. Acknowledging that the healthcare system is a behemoth that caused stress and toil was a given. Sitting down doing the ‘hardest work’ as Henry puts it was where the fruit came. Potentially an even better word than think is consider. Carefully and critically considering what was happening, why, and how I’m going to respond was practice for me on how to voice my opinion and also how to manage competing truths. Nondiscriminatory consideration for our biased and faulty selves is really hard come to find out. However, a topic like this required this careful and grave consideration every time you talked about it.
And in terms of talking about thinking as a topic of learning and conversation is where Einstein comes in. His two quotes about the power of thought is one of the key takeaways from this course. Much of what all decisions come down to are incentives. People make decisions, live their lives, and create systems around a combination of incentives. And most of what was learned in this class was 1. How does one change one’s incentives effectively and quickly? and 2. How can we change our own thinking in order to change others? Both these questions are incredibly broad, yet important and what Einstein touches on so delicately.
Below is our final presentation and white paper on the accelerated adoption of next generation sequencing (NGS) for the purposes of preventative medicine acceleration. This was a group project. My individual contribution is hard to pin point exactly but it was overall in the direction of the project, introduction, and Geisinger research.