I am often confused by the juxtaposition of opposite character traits in myself. I am simultaneously confident/loud and uncertain/meek. Maybe one day I’ll figure out why. Right now I look at it as some sort of internal balance. (But any psych friends reading this can tell me my real pathology if you want.)
When Richard first discussed the idea of this blog, I was very supportive… of him. Then he suggested that I write for it as well. First, uncertain me thought “what do I have to say that is contributory?” What did I have to say that someone else hadn’t said? Yes, I have lots of thoughts about how medicine changes a person as they become a physician, how physicians must change medicine back, and how important it is to stay a person through all of it. But surely someone else has already said all of this, whispered meek me.
Then confident me countered – yes, other people have likely said something similar to what I will say. But my experience is unique and therefore worth telling. Perhaps my experience will more closely relate to another who needs that connection and thus make a difference in their journey. Or maybe writing about it will just help me. Then loud me added that if I was going to be a part of changing medicine and physician wellness, I was going to need to be a part of the chorus of voices for change. I can’t just silently read what everyone else says, gripe in my office, and yell at my hospital admins about patient satisfaction scores, while I let others speak for me.
So I agreed to write. Because I am still idealistic about medicine. Because my experience and voice matters – for my colleagues, for future doctors, and for our patients that we sacrificed so much to learn to take care of. I don’t pretend to have all the answers or understand all of the undercurrents in our current system and the movement of change that is rising in a grassroots fashion. But I do think we can make a difference by starting a dialogue. A loud, confident one.
PS: Meek me wanted to add that while there are certainly many grains of truth in what I will write on here, I can be a tad dramatic and have been known to exaggerate for effect or humor. 🙂 See what I did there?