Here is something I struggle with here in my community of Durango. How do I wake up my local peers to the situation and their role in it? How does one little country doctor inspire change in her peers? What I want to tell them, in some nonjudgmental, non confrontational way is the following:
It is time to stop being afraid. People like Paul and Jean A and myself, among others who speak out at meetings, ask the hard questions, and keep fighting the good fight are getting tired. I do not fully understand where exactly Gordon gets his unrelenting energy, but I know he too gets tired and dispirited at times.
Anyone hiding in the shadows needs to find some courage and start walking the walk, not just talking the talk. I do not know what this means in each providers individual situation, but I am sure the intellect is out there. It is the will I am questioning.
We as individual care providers need to weed out anything in our practices that does not honor the patient doctor relationship. PERIOD. If you find yourself spending more time trying to figure out what code to use for giving an immunization than time spent learning techniques to help patients stop smoking, THAT IS A PROBLEM that MUST be recognized.
It is time to stop being victims, as well as enablers, of the "nonsystem." It is time to stand up as individuals and simply do what we innately know is the right thing to do. Trying to learn how to "play better" in a nonsystem that we all recognize as harmful to both ourselves and our patients IS NOT HELPFUL TO ANYONE.
I am not advocating any one particular course, I am simply wondering how to get those who are not currently in the questioning mode to sit down, look at their individual situations and do what is right.
I firmly believe that if enough of the primary care world just look at their own role in the current nonsense, malignant situation and remedy maybe even just one part of their role in perpetuating the problem, real change might start to occur. Then, and only then, we might be able to organize.
I need to learn to leave my own anger about the situation behind, but I am not sure how to do this.
Megan Lewis MD