Traveling emergency room doctor Mary Palmer believes that when the stakes are high, leaders have a “teachable moment” because people listen more intently.
If she suspects smoking, drugs or alcoholism, “I will look them in the eye and say, ‘You have to stop. Now. This is your chance. I have someone in the other room on oxygen who cannot breathe. They wish someone would have told them to stop.'”
Because she travels and can’t follow up, Palmer doesn’t know for sure if this works, “but I believe these patients hear me.”
— Adapted from “First Person,” interview with Amanda Long, The Washington Post Magazine.