Connection. Courage. Hope.
More than ever, physicians need all three. With more than 70% of physicians now employed (i.e., not independent), many of us are afraid to speak up in the workplace or too exhausted to do so, remembering what happened the last time we tried. We are or feel isolated. And for many reasons we know all too well, some of us are losing hope.
Medicine has changed. Our work is tougher than ever, with greater complexity and sicker patients, and we often feel like nobody appreciates what we do or how much we care. I know. I’ve been there with you. I get it.
Like you, I’m still finding my way in the dizzying reality of modern healthcare. And yet, I have hope.
I have hope because, as a group, we are a remarkable bunch. We are bright, driven, multi-talented, compassionate, altruistic, committed to excellence, and dedicated to our patients, our profession, and fulfilling our Hippocratic Oath. We sacrifice so much and — despite how the media and society so often portray us — we care. We care deeply. Why else would we sacrifice so much?
In fact, we chose the tough road of a superb education that lasts nearly a decade (or longer!) so we can care for people with excellence our entire lives. Shortcuts were never for us.
We chose the tough road because we care.
During a time of turmoil and a pervasive devaluing of our expertise and our place in medicine, it is tempting to simply sit on the sidelines until we can be done with this mess. But it is precisely during this challenging time that we must engage more than ever and lead medicine again. In our new reality with more than ten non-clinical administrators to every physician, non-clinical voices that contribute nothing to direct patient care now dictate how we do our jobs and the type of care patients receive — to their detriment. If physicians acquiesce, these non-clinical voices have the last word, and patients suffer.
Colleagues, we are the catalysts our nation needs for medicine to remain what it’s been and rise to the next level. We are the most resilient group of people I know. Yes, we are exhausted. Yes, we are being devalued and silenced intentionally. And, yes, our task seems impossible. But it isn’t.
This is our David and Goliath moment and I, for one, stand here holding some stones and a sling — and I’ve learned how to use them. This moment in time beckons us to consider our sacrifices, remember who we are, and lead once more. Like never before, physicians must unite, empower one another, and take back medicine — for the sake of our profession, our effectiveness and well-being, and our patients.
I am here to remind you of who you are, encourage you to prioritize your wellness, and equip and inspire you to lead effectively. If you’ve been trying to accomplish all that alone and find it’s been too difficult, I’m glad you found your way here.
I’m here to help us become a collective David before a modern Goliath. Together we will accomplish so much more. If you are isolated, please reach out to someone now and get the help you need. Stop trying to do this alone.
As I transition fully to this new digital hub, the resources available here will continue to expand. Whether you are a medical student, resident, fellow, or a physician in practice for years, you will find inspiration, hope, and specific ways to become equipped for such a time as this. Subscribe to my newsletter to receive updates, articles and practical tools, as well as news relevant to our profession.
My latest book, Recapturing Joy in Medicine, is now available! I’ve not seen another book like it, and I’m convinced if our colleagues read it and put it into practice, this book will be a game-changer.
As you pursue all you need to stand up, speak up, and be who you are in the midst of the struggle, don’t forget to be good to yourself.
I’m glad you’re here!
Amaryllis (Dr. Mari)
Connect: What will you do today to be good to yourself? Let us know in the comments.
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