Are we witnessing the rise of a creative class in medicine?
The creative class in medicine may be seen as a key driving force for change in a post-analog era. They are the disruptors willing to poke the box. The reason that this emerging segment of health care providers is so remarkable is that medicine typically punishes creativity. In medicine, makers make at significant professional risk.
The creative class in medicine is facilitated by the democratized tools for writing, recording, photographing, making and publishing. Anyone with an internet connection and a good idea can have a talk show. Everywhere I turn I see docs making things. This weekend Joyce Lee collected a bunch of makers and tinkerers at the University of Michigan for We Make Health Fest. FOAM has evolved beyond a global movement to a mindset about education. Digital provocateur Larry Chu and the thinkers at Stanford’s Medicine X have driven a new conversation about patients and medicine. Look under the hood and you’ll see that Medicine X is driven by medicine’s creative class.
Quite predictably, not everyone likes it. All this free thinking, sharing, making, and generalized lack of lockstep order makes some of us just a little bit uncomfortable. But uncomfortable is good. We all need to get a lot more uncomfortable. We don’t have a choice.
It’s no longer 1954. But there’s an unexplainable high to seeing 400 years of a stagnant profession turned over like rotting compost. With that said, I suspect that somewhere William Osler is smiling.
Ayn Rand had words that I’m sure were intended for those members of medicine’s creative class intent on drawing the map for the next generation of medicine, “The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me?“