Health and Healthcare as Infinite Games
Neil E Grunberg1* and Erin S Barry2
1Professor, Department of Military and Emergency Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA
2Assistant Professor, Department of Military and Emergency Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA
*Corresponding Author: Neil E Grunberg, Professor, Department of Military and Emergency Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA.
January 04, 2022; Published: February 21, 2022
“Life is a game” and health and healthcare should be seen as infinite, not finite, games. To succeed at infinite games requires an understanding of what is meant by infinite games as well as the willingness to embrace this mindset. Infinite games are continuous without a designated beginning or ending and do not have referees or judges, specified outcomes, or observers in the same way as finite games. Individuals and organizations that have an infinite game mindset are stronger and benefit because they are always learning and growing with no designated end at which point one stops trying, contributing, or participating. Five essential practices to embrace and operate with an infinite mindset are described as they relate to health and healthcare: (1) Advance a just cause; (2) Build trusting teams; (3) Study their worthy rivals; (4) Prepare for existential flexibility; and (5) Demonstrate the courage to lead. If health is perceived as an infinite game, then health-enhancing, injury-avoiding, and disease-preventing behaviors are more likely to be regular and consistent aspects of daily life. Similarly, if healthcare is perceived as an infinite game, then patients and practitioners will more likely focus on health-promotion best practices, injury and illness prevention, education about and encouragement to engage in behaviors and cognitions related to wellness.
Keywords: Just Cause; Trusting Teams; Worthy Rivals; Existential Flexibility; Courage to Lead
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