My friend Paul Sufka was planning a grand rounds on social media. He asked Twitter to identify the top few folks in each specialty so that the audience could have a place to start. A seed list for new folks getting going on Twitter.
The problem is that many of the top voices ‘by specialty’ don’t have much to say about their work.
Esther Choo, an ER physician, thinks about gender equity. Michael Docktor, a pediatric gastroenterologist like me, thinks about medical devices and innovation. Ronan Kavanagh’s public superpower is curating amazing ways that art and medicine collide. Joyce Lee and Bon Ku, think about design which is different from their core disciplines. Of course, if you really listen to them you’ll hear that design is quite integral to their day-to-day work.
So what’s going on here? As it turns out some doctors think beyond the basics of their training. Once typecast by our board certification or pet organ system, there was no way to move beyond what the world told us we should do. Our chosen field was a silo where we lived. But now we are seeing purpose-driven physicians declare themselves. This is fueled by the ability and confidence to better define ourselves to the world. All of this is supported by new tools and connections with like-minded individuals. I have described some of these fresh thinkers as part of medicine’s creative class.
Some doctors, it seems, are less bound by specialty and limited only by passion.
I like to say they have found the spark.
But many physicians don’t understand the world beyond burn-and-churn. They just don’t have the capacity to see anything beyond the next 7 minute exam room encounter. They professionally have nothing other than what they’ve cultivated since their pre-med years. And we wonder why so many doctors experience burn out.
Going forward defining doctors by passion and purpose might be a better way to help the world understand our fascinating online culture.