Sunday, July 18, 2010

Social Media Tonality

I sit before the computer this morning struggling to write. It happens from time to time, I know, but for come reason I find myself at a particularly difficult impasse.

No doubt being on call this weekend has contributed to my state of ennui, but I often stop to think about the direction of this blog and it's tone. After all, the tone of any blog (heck, any social media venue) not only defines your writing style, but it increasingly defines you to the public. Too light and you're not authoritative. Too heavy and you lose people. Too pessimistic and you sound like a cry baby. Too optimistic and people will wonder what you're smoking.

For this reason, blog tone (and the tone of any social media venue for that matter) should probably be appreciated more by bloggers and social media enthusiasts. After all, not only does the tone of the blog define the writer, but it likely defines the type of person who reads the blog, too.

These days in health care, I find this to be particularly true.

I worry about sounding too pessimistic about the changes I see in health care. I don't want to sound like a "Debbie Downer." If I talk about the discouraging changes to health care under way, I'll be labeled a whiner - just another disgruntled, impotent doctor who has nothing to contribute. Worse: that's not a leadership stance to take in our new Accountable Care Organization.

Who wants to be that guy?

Instead, I should be a cheerleader for health care in the interest of my patients and health care system going forward. I must overcome, improvise, adapt. "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." We must do more with less and do it with quality - 179 measures of nothing but the best. So go ahead. Check the boxes. Show the world the wonderful things we do in health care every day! Look at our gorgeous new facilities and beautiful clinics! We can do it with fewer people than ever before because we keep finding new efficiencies! Everyone's a winner!

And let my online persona reflect my enthusiasm, the opportunity, the wonderful!

I'm just glad to know that I'm not the only one who's discovered this secret to success.



doc said...

Perhaps we should ALL be telling anyone who will listen what is happening to what was the best medical care system in the world! Instead of "trying to get along" with the system, maybe, just maybe, it is time that we stood up on our hind legs and shouted a resounding "NO!". We as physicians know that the new medical care system is horrible, that it is going to cost more and deliver less care at a lower standard. And yet we say nothing. Maybe that oath that we took to look out for the care of our patients also includes working against a system that will destroy their health care system and leave them poorer and sicker than before. Wes, you've done a great job of pointing out the system's flaws without becoming a political hack...don't stop now!

Anonymous said...

As one who is diametrically opposed to you politically and who is ocassionally left sputtering by a particular blog (Dr. Berwith), you're doing just fine. The one thing "doc" and I can agree: don't quit now!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Wes,

See the WSJ Opinion page - Vanderveen column. Maybe it will offer you some encouragment towards "the wonderful".

DrWes said...


After reading the WSJ Vanderveen column, I'm left wondering how pharmacists will work to shore up the pending shortage of specialists and general surgeons and remove appendixes and place pacemakers on our behalf. But hey, maybe the other 30 million people coming into our health care system shouldn't expect the same level of care we're offering now.

Seriously, as I and others have said time and time again: quantity of health care, low cost of health care, and quality of health care - pick any two.

Quality with our new entitlement will suffer in favor of cost constraints first, and a huge quantity of patients coming second. Sadly, someone else will now be telling me who gets what on the basis of their perception of what drives quality the use of your portion of contributed health care dollars.

But, I'll remain cheerful about what ever happens!


*Brackish material rises in back of throat*