Tuesday 2nd of March 2021
The Ethos of Hygeia
"The physicians of the Hippocratic era called medicine 'The Art'. They knew that the care of their fellows was an act of creativity. They also recognized that each patient and his or her physician form a bond that is unique unto itself. That bond is the foundation upon which healing takes place." 1
Moses Maimonides, "the most important Jewish philosopher of the Middle Ages" wrote "The eternal providence has appointed me to watch over the life and health of Thy creatures... my lofty aim of doing good to Thy children...may I never see in the patient anything but a fellow creature in pain" 2
Both citations above speak of patients as "fellows" and "human[sic] creatures and children...". This must commit us who have taken the "Oath" to practice our sacred profession of medicine with an imperative to respect the sanctity of life and health for all those we treat-with a sense of high privilege- for they are the flesh and blood and souls of all humanity - past, present and future-and we, by our choice, their guardians.
There is no place for bias or prejudice or disparate care in our healthcare systems. I have tried in my half-century of caring for patients to follow this philosophy. Now, no longer in clinical practice, I have turned my passion and energies to creating this platform, Maternl©.
"I am first a physician, a distant disciple of Aesculapius and Hippocrates3; a clinician, a teacher, and a student. I am an Obstetrician. I stand before my patients4 and facilitate their births. I share their joys; I feel their pains. Yet, caring for the well-being and the illnesses of patients and their families is to accept that medical science in all its depth and possibilities is not precise and that the human mind and flesh are perishable. We are today steeped in myriad medical technologies that in themselves bring hope to previously hopeless conditions and pathologies. Yet there remains inexorable suffering which accompanies failures and tribulations not only of these new medical technologies but of pervasive disparities which exist to deny access to and recipient of one standard of care for all, disparities defined by the social determinants of health:5 the paradox of our societies to both cure and cause pain which is real and evident.
We as practitioners and guardians of humanity's health have been granted by oath and by ethic the privilege to examine and treat, counsel and advise our fellow human beings, with the greatest of professionalism, quality and safety and to never abandon the souls of all patients seeking our care. It is my hope that the programs of Hygeia Health Systems, LLC will nurture, propagate and preserve these tenets.
Going forward (l)
Today are times of much despair
Yet times of great hope
To affirm our oath
As unfiltered reason and purpose
Rush in our blood
Every pulse a wave
Approaching distant shores
To leave our prejudice behind
To fade into vapors
As common as fog
And guide us to plant
Roots to bond our humanhood and
Vines to grow our brotherhood
As we go forth into tomorrow.
Michael R. Berman, MD, MBI, FACOG
I received my Doctor of Medicine Degree from New York Medical College and my Masters Degree in Biomedical Informatics from Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) with an area of concentration on Personal Health Records. I completed my Post Graduate Residency Training in Obstetrics and Gynecology and one year fellowship in Maternal and Fetal Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Hospital. I am currently Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science and former(retired) Associate Dean for Quality and Patient Safety for Graduate Medical Education at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Chief Patient Safety Officer and Ombuds at the Mount Sinai Health System in New York, New York. Prior to joining the faculty at Mount Sinai, I was in Clinical Practice in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the Yale School of Medicine. I founded the Hygeia Foundation for Perinatal Loss and Bereavement(now Hope After Loss) and am the author of numerous poems and essays documenting the human condition. I am also author of the book, Parenthood Lost, Healing the Pain After Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death.
As Chief Patient Safety Officer, I had oversight for Quality and Safety at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, the Mount Sinai Downtown Ambulatory Care and Surgery facility at Union Square and the The Blavatnik Family Chelsea Medical Center. I joined the faculty and attending staff of the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center in 2012 where, as themedical director of the Labor and Delivery Unit, I implemented the hospital's first full-time laborist program, which provided a structured, collaborative, patient-centric approach to improving the quality, safety, and patient experience on the labor floor. In 2017, I was appointed Associate Dean for Quality and Patient Safety in Graduate Medical Education. In this role, I led efforts at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) and the Health System to meet the goals of the Clinical Learning Environment Review Program developed by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education.
Significant areas of organizational interest and specialized training, which I have acquired, are in the domains of Just Culture, Adverse Event Disclosure, 'Second Victim' Counseling, Physician Communication Skills, Ombuds, Patient Experience and Healthcare Disparities. I also served in the Ombuds Office for the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Mount Sinai Health System, a resource for faculty and students in the Graduate Medical Education programs, providing an impartial and informal venue for promoting fair and equitable conflict resolutions for those who have identified problems in their workplace or studies.
With my collective interests in informatics, quality and safety metrics and information technology, I developed several quality improvement software programs optimized for both in-hospital and community / ambulatory organizations which encourages. These programs can be customized and licensed to in-kind organizations.
Michael R. Berman, MD, MBI, FACOG
Founder, President and CEO
Hygeia Health Systems, LLC
P.O Box 3674
Woodbridge, Connecticut 06525