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First Person: Michael Fratkin, Resolution Care, on Systems and Human Relationships (Video Interview)

We need to bring people back to the center of care, embrace the caregiver's role as "navigator," and create real human relationships.

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Michael Fratkin is the founder of Resolution Care, a palliative care group that has helped over 1100 people at the end of life. Michael has been a doctor for over 28 years and started Resolution Care to "empower patients, to the end." He's a very open, honest speaker who allows his full self to come out in his work and his conversation.

Michael and I talked about the centrality of human relationship in all that we do, including the end of life experience. Our healthcare system, designed for scale and productivity and economics, doesn't foster the human relationships we want and need. This problem isn't unique to healthcare -- our government, corporate, and other systems are straining under the same challenge. In the following clips, Michael talks very movingly (I think) about these challenges and his experience with what helpful relationships look like at the end of life. 

"Treating people as inputs to industrial processes has broken an unbroken history of what healing and service and caregiving really is."

"How do we restore the place of people at the center, and place all of these other incredibly powerful structures properly in orbit around the heart of the matter?"

"There is a certain sweet spot (for the relationship with the person who is dying)  that is optimally close so you can understand and connect, without collapsing into the other."

"My scorecard is determined by your definition of what success is. I have a role that is no more or less important than navigator. The navigator does not have his hands on the wheel, he has his eyes on the landscape."

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

What are the systems that need to change to embrace richer and more diverse end of life experiences? Where are the leverage points for that change? Is it all about the healthcare system?


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