This post from John Mandrola got me thinking about physician meetings. He tells about his experience at weekly rounds were he endured a presentation on health reform. But John had heard it before. It had been played out in the medical infosphere.
His story illustrates how physician-physician communication sits at the cusp of two generations. There’s the last generation that elects to once a week sit on a couch among their hyperlocal posse and hear one select piece of information through a crackly PA system. Then there’s the generation that wants to interact globally in real time with focused, self-selected information relevant to its needs.
What Mandrola describes will go the way of the hula hoop. I suspect that people driving across town to sit in a room to receive information will evolve to include only those who refuse to adopt more efficient ways of interaction. And no, IRL interaction is not going away and I’m not suggesting that there isn’t unique value to face-to-face engagement. It’s just that these congregations will happen with real intent and real purpose. Every time I’m forced to sit in a room like John describes there’s no ‘meeting’ anyway, just lemming-like people locked in a dark room forced to stare at a screen with no option to click away.
The term ‘medical meeting’ will evolve to have more historical meaning. It suggests that the way doctors relate is episodic and isolated. We come, then we go away. I’m in, I’m out. Now we’re engaging, now we’re not. Until we ‘meet’ again.
But admittedly meeting is a cute term.
John Mandrola didn’t need to sit in the glare of a projector to learn about health reform. He’s part of a self-built network having daily dialog that started long before his grand rounds and continues long after it convened.
The virtual spaces for doctors aren’t full built out at this point but the foundations are all around us. As time passes and human networks evolve the current concept physician meetings will become obsolete.
Image via brsev