Friday, January 13, 2012
Jordan Grumet Interviews Himself
A: Ya, I get that alot!
Q: Um...OK. Moving on. I notice that you write a new blog post on most days. How are you so prolific?
A: I have been writing my whole life. As a child I was greatly impacted by the death of my father, and growing up with a learning disability. Living through these experiences made me think deeply about my surroundings. I learned to search for the profound in every day life.
I categorized my thoughts, one by one, in the recesses of my brain. The actually placing pen to paper (hand to keyboard if you will) only occurred later as I developed the requisite vocabulary to do justice to my observations.
I try not to think too much about my blog posts, otherwise I may stifle the creativity that bubbles up.
Q: Taken as a whole, what is your blog about? What are the major themes?
A: If you asked me this question a few years ago, I would have said that my blog is a love letter to my patients. As I grow wiser, I realize that it is more accurately a love letter to my father.
When my father (a prominent oncologist) died, I was seven years old. As silly as it sounds, I spent a great deal of my childhood and young adult years trying to forgive myself for his death. Even though I knew I wasn't responsible for his aneurysm, I struggled with issues of being worthy of love.
As I read my own writing, I'm struck by the parallels. I fight to be protect my patients and lead them through the dying process, much in the way I wish I could have done for my father.
Q: I have noticed that you can be a harsh critic of yourself as well as other health care providers.
A: As with any love letter, My words are filled with angst, self deprecation, and remorse. I pine for the unrecoverable loss. My father is never coming back.
When I'm critical of other physicians, I am also criticizing myself and the foibles of our profession.
Q: So if this blog centers around personal issues and your father, why make it public? Why Facebook and Twitter?
I think there's value in the conversation. Although my inner creative process may stem from personal issues, the themes of my writing have broader applicability. Through my blog I attempt to record the epic battle fought by physicians between maintaining their humanity and protecting themselves from the atrocities of everyday practice.
We are both flawed and scared, as well as brilliant and steadfast. Physicians bleed when they are cut, just like everybody else.
If we don't let the public know who we are, how will we ever move toward equality and intimacy?
Q: So your saying that the doctor-patient relationship needs to be a two way street.
A: Exactly, I couldn't have said it better myself. As health care reform progresses, there will be a power struggle as resources become scarce. The sooner we open the door to our patients, the better we will survive the tumultuous future.
We need to build a partnership based on trust and common understanding.
Q: Any last thoughts before we end this interview?
A: No, other then to say that I enjoyed this conversation immensely. You really are superb!
Q: Thank You.
Posted by Jordan Grumet at 1:16 PM