I am not really one for resolutions, but I do think the start of a new year is an opportunity to appraise what we as individuals are contributing to the world in which we live. At a time when countries are building walls, imposing trade barriers and becoming more insular, I personally feel more than ever a global citizen.
The backdrop of these geopolitical events can be quite imposing and in many ways it is of course easier to just focus on ourselves and providing for the needs of our own family. However the orthopaedic industry already improves the lives of so many and is in the privileged position to potentially change the life outcomes for many more millions of people around the globe.
This is especially true when we are told by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that 10% (650 million) of the world’s population are disabled in some way and that 80% of these people live in Low Income Countries (LIC’s). They also inform us that less than 3% of these people have access to rehabilitation services, which means the vast majority are likely be compelled to a life of poverty as a result. This is shocking and thought provoking.
Through my network, I see day in day out the incredible work that clinicians are delivering in making a difference to their patients’ lives, often in challenging circumstances. As a non-clinician I need to find more imaginative ways to make a contribution. The problem can seem overwhelming in terms of the scale, but given the number of us that work within the more developed parts of this industry, there have to be endless opportunities to do something that could help – one person, or a hundred.
So many people underestimate their potential to make a positive difference to the lives of others. I am challenging myself to do more and would really like to hear what others have in mind. Maybe we can use the power of this platform to share ideas and collaborate.