It’s often surprising to onlookers – outsiders looking in – that doctors should ever not feel comfortable in their “own skin”.
To everyone else, we should be at the “top of the world”.
For doctors, it’s surprising that it’s surprising that we struggle (yes, that sentence is meant to read that way). Esp when we feel the walls around us caving in.
But we tend to keep up appearances, because we’re still perceived as the leaders within, even as power gets stripped away from us, from deep within.
This makes for a fitting visual that may help explain how we feel:
we’re being stripped from the inside out.
And it’s what corporatization of our healthcare system has done to us, with a perfect narrative pairing.
In it, a story is being told about the way healthcare runs, making it seem as if it’s as glorious as it used to be. To the rest of the world, physicians seem to be at the top of the decision-making & reimbursement food chain, even though they aren’t, in reality, the ones at the helm.
In real life, and real-time, the corporate giants are moving their joystick around, controlling all of the healthcare board.
And as we all continue to”play”, our reality gets shuffled around on that playing board, as the moving pieces within; though we were once playing the game – and playing it right – we’re now being played.
Even worse, and what should really grab your attention, is that the joysticks are controlling patients, too.
It’s really no different than your favorite digital game.
With the corporate giants as coders.
The doctors can move around the field within the game, as the avatars in a healthcare landscape, even though we’re not actually free to move around as we’d like; we’re not actually in charge of what happens next.
If the corporate structure has coded this thing, they’ve actually the ones who build the walls that restrict us; the ones to keep us in check, around which we perform our “expected” duties, in the mannerisms that have been coded to fit the game (and in hopes that the coded moves within will result in “heal”).
Our advice HAS to follow the script, & there’s no improvising, thinking outside the box, or escaping “what’s supposed to be”.
So when any of our hard-working doctors dares to ever expose “perceived weaknesses”
(getting burned out, not able to carry out certain demands, or worse, actually speaking out), it’s often unjustly perceived as a reflection on the doctors themselves.
Because, again, on the outside, we look as if we’re at the top of the world, in a “perfect” field.
And when doctors get exhausted of this setup, of the false narrative, or of being in a setting someone else has coded, and actually leave the field, they get the standard knee-jerk response: “But you’re a doctor! How can you leave?”
Can you really blame us?
It’s overwhelming, tiring, & just plain makes no sense that we prepare & train to be in a position of leadership for 3 (I said it – THREE) entire decades, only to realize we’re not remotely in a position of leadership, when all is said and done.
We want a refund, healthcare!
I’m here to challenge this notion. To make you think outside the box & start soaking in what work has evolved into, for a physician today.
To tell my fellow colleagues: we ARE leaders within healthcare. We’ve simply allowed someone else to take the decision-making away from us. And now, we’re paying the price.
Our patients are feeling this shift, too.
They’re the ones, in fact, that are most vulnerable to these changes.
They’re the ones who ultimately pay the price.
While everyone continues to think that it’s us in control.
The healthcare joysticks, meanwhile, keep on moving.
We’re all getting shuffled along in the game.
Except that, for many of us, that game is over.
It used to be unheard of that a doctor would leave their profession.
It was stable, secure, and resulted in job satisfaction, keeping us in for the entirety of our lives.
But we ‘re tired. And we’re leaving it behind.
We’re undoing the golden handcuffs, and we’re swapping our pasts with new beginnings, even if that means we have to, once again, start at the bottom.
I hope that those of you who aren’t leaving,
but identify with what I have to say, will at least consider the options:
- speak up
- tell our stories.
- give the world our side
- help the outside FEEL exactly what it means to be in our shoes; having dedicated the entirety of our youth to be where we are & of coming out a pawn in a field where we should be queen
It’s important now more than ever that our patients know.
Because ultimately, it won’t stop with our paying for it. They’ll pay for it, too.