It's hard to believe, but seven years ago this day, I wrote this blog's first entry.
It has been interesting for me to reflect on what I've written here. Over 3100 posts - some good, some not-so-good - reside here. Some day they will be succumb to spam bots and the electronic ether, never to be seen again. No matter.
This blog has evolved from a marketing mission for my t-shirt website to a place for creative reflection about the decline of my father's health and his eventual death, to an even more recent reflection of my perception of health care's effects on doctors and nurses. It has been silly at times, but remarkably heartfelt at others. It has covered wide range of topics - some based on news stories, others based on one guy's life experiences. I have nurtured it, worshiped it, and disliked it at different times in its relatively short career. But I realize now what it's been for me most: my inexpensive therapist.
Here I can get lost in nuance and subtlety. Here I can describe my joys and frustrations with health care and our profession. Here I can laugh at the ridiculous, the mundane, the silly. Here I can mourn a colleague, an experience, or family member's death. This blog has connected me with people I would never have met while being one of the more isolated and personal activities I pursue.
New content for this blog, at least like I want it to be, is getting harder for me to come by. Perhaps this is why I find I'm writing less and less. Perhaps it's because what I want to say, I've said before. Perhaps it's because I don't always want to sound like the sky is falling in health care, but there remains so much to be concerned about in our new era of health care going forward. Feel-good story lines that ignore reality in favor of an agenda are dangerous. Increasingly, doctors are having a hard time behaving as Walmart greeters, ever pleasant and ever smiling as we are the manipulated tools of the trade. I'm not a big fan of fiction.
My writing, like all of us as we mature, is changing. I find now that I like to discuss the psychology and physiology of what's happening to doctors in our new, changing health care world. I find I like to discuss the the story-behind-the-story or the Bigger Picture more that my take on a news story or study result. (Believe me, it's easy to criticise studies yet far harder to perform them). And yes, I still enjoy teaching about an EKG finding or two. Still, much of what gets written here has felt like I'm fencing at windmills as forces far more influential in health care move forward. As such, my idealistic goal of influence has adapted to a goal of realism. Time is real. So are the kids. So are work demands. As a result, blogging suffers.
Life's priorities change. My wife, kids, family, friends, dog and workplace will forever supersede this space. Life is incredibly short. Yet I find I still cherish my precious time behind the keyboard when I can take a moment to reflect on issues that concern me or excite me about health care and this thing called being a doctor. Yes, it is harder now. But this therapeutic blog continues to teach me one thing I never imagined as a math, science, and engineering nerd who later became physician:
I still really enjoy the creative process of writing.