I just finished Seth Godin’s Linchpin. Seth makes the case that in a hypercompetitive world the stakes are higher than ever to make an indispensible contribution to something you care about. The linchpin is the essential element, the piece of a wheel or organization that is absolutely irreplaceable.
Seth references business but he might has well have been talking about obstetricians or internists. We need more linchpin doctors.
Modern patient care is progressively marginalizing physicians. Care that is increasingly ‘managed’ and dependent upon automated diagnostics is leaving physicians as powerless cogs in a system of mechanical patient care. Patients have become naturally detached as they search for solutions of their own.
Physicians have to be remarkable to remain relevant. Physicians have to offer something not available anywhere else. Physicians need to make a difference and in their own way and serve as real leaders and innovators in their relationships with patients and their communities.
Physicians have to be linchpins.
Seth offers a cameo to Jay Parkinson and serves him up as a linchpin example. And this is well-deserved. But in reality our linchpins should be in clinics everywhere, defined by their remarkable insights and interactions.
While it’s a bad time to demand passion in medicine, I might suggest that every doctor in America read Linchpin. It provides the critical basis for personal accountability and innovation sorely needed in the medical community right now.
Physicians are at risk of becoming invisible. We can watch and wait for instructions or we can lead.