Hello sweet friend,
What did you do this week?
I filmed yet another What's In My Bag-- this time, for my work bag.
While filming, I realized how quickly doctors have changed in the (relatively) short time I've been practicing. When I started med school in the early aughts, the idea of broadcasting anything about yourself, good or bad, medically-related or not, was disdainful. Having opinions: no. Showing emotions: no. Being multidimensional (in other words: human): absolutely not.
I alluded to this in my first post. My impression of Training was similar to Royal Family Protocol: smile and keep your mouth shut, unless in Official Duties.
Interestingly, my generation of physicians were selected precisely because we had emotions, and ideas that we were capable of sharing. Prior generations were disparaged for mannerless bedside manner, and for either lacking or failing to display empathy. Subsequently, there was a broad change in the selection of med students: now, being an individual, with a unique (and uniquely stated) viewpoint, is HIGHLY prized.
The new doctors are sharers. I can't believe how many are on youtube, blogs, instagram. From an individual person standpoint: what a lovely way to observe, reflect, and enjoy a creative life! This must be an anti-burnout pathway! (To be clear: vlogging/instagramming at work HORRIFIES me. There's self-expression, and then there's a lack of professionalism.)
Here's the catch: from what I can tell, this self-expression... is actually part of a passive income plan.
What do you think of that? I'm not sure what to make of a "noble" profession doing ads and earning commissions. Is it unseemly?
On the other hand: why not SideHustle? So many other groups do the same. Why shouldn't doctors have access? Why is it only the purview of stay at home moms and designers? Isn't it better than (some of the) previous generation's practices of manipulating reimbursements and over-operating/over-prescribing for profit?
Monetizing is not necessarily for me: this is a creative outlet with accountability. Hopefully, it's a way to connect. A way to be myself: not mama, not M.D.... some one in between and before that. Moreover, monetizing seems like a lot of work. And the transformation from a human to A Brand doesn't seem to be that fulfilling. I've seen so many bloggers subsequently resent their creation, their "job"; a death knell to creativity.
That issue aside, it seems physicians, as group, have begun to free ourselves from the (self-imposed?) prison of silence. I wonder if that will stem the tide of litigation that plagues us: the idea that doctors are people too? The humanizing of someone who was previously held to impossible standards? Will we lose the schadenfreude from our falls?
So many questions. Generally, blog posts with lots of questions feel disingenuous. Most of the time, the author has strongly held opinions that they are afraid to express fully, so they push it to the audience to do it for them. (I do it because I'm checking if anyone is actually out there; i.e.: the "connection" part mentioned above.)
In this case, I am really conflicted about even having this online presence, at all. I write under a pseudonym but I've linked my entire professional history. I don't publicize, but it is listed on my online CV. Where once I commented anonymously on other blogs, now I bashfully include my link.
Such a long premable-- this is also how I am in person by the way. Chatty, circuitous.
All an introduction to say: let me share what I bring to the hospital! (click on the picture above to watch the video)
The essentials, like my home-made laminated cards containing Emergency Protocols (ACLS/code blue/CPR type of things) remain in my lab coat at all times. No chancing that-- studies have shown you are more likely to run a perfect code if you follow a checklist (this is also different thinking from when I started, when it would have been an egregious sin to be "caught with a cheat sheet" instead of doing it by memory). I wear a lab coat because otherwise I get asked A LOT if I'm the nurse (and still do, even with it). I hate the lab coat-- it's uncomfortable, and I worry it's a germ haven.
Let me know what you think about this youtube-- I showed my face! My hair is freshly washed!
Have a wonderful week! See you next Sunday!
Wishing you the health of happiness,
P.S.: Still thinking a lot about how we need more love in this world.