Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Five Stages of #hcsm

It all started with denial. 

I mean, I'm a doctor.  Who has time to be clicking away on a mobile phone when there are patients to see?  There are only so many minutes in the day.  And what is there to gain anyway?  I don't need more friends, I need to be reading journals.  I need to be studying for boards.  I need to be building my practice and meeting colleagues. 

Yet I have a voice, a viewpoint.  Certain things need to be said.  How can I be heard?

But then anger set in.

Everyday I bang away at the computer and bust out content, blogs and tweets abound.  Yet post after post no comments, no followers.  All I do is give, give, give and get nothing in return.  I want to be notable, a superstar.  At this rate all I'll be is a foot note.  My writing, my words will be lost in the diaspora.  So why do I keep going?

The bargaining phase was inevitable.

If you follow me, I'll follow you.  I retweeted about some love back?  Your writing is amazing, I blogged about the same topic the other day. 

Then, of course, depression.  Desperately curt, poignant depression. 

Why bother anyway?  No one cares.

Somewhere in the darkness: sweet acceptance.    

I write because I have to.  The connections I've made are lasting.  I learn, I grow, I'm lifted by the brilliance that surrounds me.

And then denial creeps back around the corner.

Maybe I should go back to concentrating on being a doctor and not waste my time on such things.


Maggie said...

Maybe your readers should be less lazy, less self-effacing, less certain that we don't have anything meaningful to say.

Me, I'm a hospital chaplain. I read every post on this blog.

In the past year I've read some of your posts twice, once here, and once on Kevin MD. You never fail to give me something useful to think about, something important to consider. Often you make my job easier. Quite often you make the lives of my patients better by giving me something I can use to better understand them, to better hear them, to better support them.

Just now I'm embarrassed to admit the number of times I've read your blog and felt, 'Ah, that's lovely. Now I can let go of today's burdens.' ... but I haven't written to tell you so.

Thanks for everything you've shared with us.

Unknown said...

You can tell how many of us are watching by following your numbers on the stats app. But you write because you need to. For yourself and those fortunate enough to follow along. It matters and you know it, so time to leave the denial phase for good and reach acceptance.

Unknown said...

You can tell how many of us are watching by following your numbers on the stats app. But you write because you need to. For yourself and those fortunate enough to follow along. It matters and you know it, so time to leave the denial phase for good and reach acceptance.

Ruth said...

I'm a follower (get your blog post via email, not twitter). Your posts are so fascinating to me because you are so HUMAN. Like the chaplain, I have silently praised your writing, then gone on with my day. We're here! I think there is so much noise on the internet nowadays that is so hard to be heard.

owyheewinds said...

I also follow all your posts. I hear your voice. My husband is a doctor, presently not practicing due to severe illness. I am an attorney, disabled by illness also, and the necessary chemotherapy. I have witnessed and observed world class medicine being practiced. We are keenly, personally aware of The Insanity, dealing with insurance companies, ever more regulation and the consequent degradation of the most noblest of vocations (hence, our clinic dumped contracts with health insurers. That was the best move.). How there is no safety net for us when we get horribly ill. (I remain amazed that people persist in thinking "doctors and lawyers make lots of money". Walk in our shoes!). The huge economic and spiritual losses debilitating illness brings. How terribly patients are affected by health crises. So many good physicians. Too many good physicians undercut by mediocre physicians and corporate greed. Physicians who find it easier to cope by forgetting their promise to relieve suffering ('I don't "do" pain meds."; "That medicine is 'bad'". "I have to follow this algorithm put out by the ABCD...rather than rely on a thorough history and sound clinical judgment." "P.A.s are good care extenders, we don't need physicians at this clinic...". etc., etc. ). At any rate, please continue posting. We recognize your truths. Yours is a rationally passionate voice that we need to hear!

Michael Shihjay Chen said...

Hang in there. I've been reading your blog since it started. I also know how you feel since I've also been managing my blog at (also at since I started my micro practice back in 2004. I wasn't getting many visits for years but since my practice closed 6 months ago, my visits have ironically increased. I also recently got published on Kevin MD but it also took many tries before I was published. I feel that our passions for meaningful patient interactions and good medicine are quite similar and we're following similar paths. Although I'm sadly no longer doing my private practice, I'm continuing to be an advocate and be a voice for primary care equality, health care access for all patients, especially children. Perhaps by being in solidarity with other like minded physicians, you won't feel alone in this fight.

Anonymous said...

Since I'm following you, I read you every time you post. Wonderfull writer bravo. Please continue. Suzanne

Anonymous said...

I am a follower (e-mail) and I'm always happy to receive your new post. You are a wonderfull writer and doing a great job.

Being stage IV IBC'er, french speaking in Quebec, I do read and share a lot, cause it is a lonely life. Here's some of my blogs:

Please continue,

Unknown said...

Please keep writing. You are able to express what so many of us who are health care providers have felt for years, yet never said aloud. I love receiving the blogs by email, but have to admit until today did not know where to comment or reply. You have many followers, but most are quietly absorbing your writings. Keep up the good work!

Maureen said...

As a healthcare professional, mother, daughter and wife, I look forward to reading your blog. Where I work as a nurse, I don't often see the compassionate side of doctors. I wish more physicians cared in the way you care about your patients. The patients you do look after are very lucky. Please know you are appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I think your writing is great. I read my fair share of medical blogs and you write with great humanity. I enjoy eevery post.thanks,Liz

Anonymous said...

I am a disabled nurse who has been following your blog. You are a wonderful writer. You are a compassionate doctor who wants the best for his patients. You think of the patient as a whole patient, in mind, body, and spirit. There is not many doctors around like you! Please continue to write. You are appreciated. I enjoy getting the emails!!

Anonymous said...

You want comments so you'll keep writing? That's a Deal! Here's a comment! Now get back to writing. 8-). You've got an audience out here that looks forward to your blog posts. Your hit rate confirms that for you, even if the comment fields often remain empty.

Write! Right?


Unknown said...

I am from Israel my written English is not so good , I think this is the reason I do not comment but I read every time and I it is amazing to see that we have similar problem . Doctors all over the world .