Sunday, June 30, 2013
What Would Osler Say?
We were out to rule the world. Blogs were well written and lengthy. The expectation was that the comment section would be just as lively as the post itself. There were no book deals, TED talks, or media interviews. We were a group of whipper-snappers, bucking the system, and blazing the trail.
The advent of twitter and facebook brought welcome improvements. Our opinions were amplified. Our numbers grew. And amazingly enough, the rest of the world took notice. We were no longer just a group of disgruntled docs. Patients, advocates, and allied healthcare professionals also joined our ranks.
The winds of change, however, are indifferent to mourning for the past. Our sacred space became cluttered not only with content, but also self promotion. Blogs became shorter and to the point. Comments were slung at each other in small word size tidbits that often lost the subtlety of artful communication. The noise became at times unbearable.
We see this same type of change happening in the practice of clinical medicine. We use terms like "creative destruction" and "disruptive innovation" to describe what medical futurists must see as the brave new world of healthcare delivery. But I fear that we run the risk of throwing the baby out with the bath water. In other words, quantified self, big data, accountable care organizations, and the electronic revolution must seek to add and not replace our current infrastructure.
In both medicine and social media, it would be complete and utter foolishness to actually destroy that which was built with the blood and sweat of our forebearers.
I would like to think that today's healthcare social media giants climbed on our backs not to push us down, but rather to reach better more lucid heights.
I'm sure if Osler was around today, he would say much the same thing.
Posted by Jordan Grumet at 6:23 PM