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If the Shoe Fits...


There is so much crap in healthcare.

You know it. I know it. We all know it.

It's time to cut the crap.

Whether you work in healthcare or you are a consumer of healthcare, you are not immune to the impact of this crap. It has, in many ways, become the milieu we all live and work in. You may be surprised to know that the crap I speak of is not the electronic medical record (the bane of the clinician's existence), or the mounds of paperwork, or the bureaucratic hoops clinicians leap through to get their patients the care and treatment they need. I'm not referring to long hours, high stress, dismal reimbursement, or the lack of tort reform.

"Although I'm a doctor, crap references are not my thing.

But, when the shoe fits...."

It is my firm belief that the crap that is doing the most harm in healthcare is that which is in our own minds. Another term for this crap is stinkin' thinkin'. If you are a human being, you do this, and most of the time you are completely unaware of the fact that you are doing it. In fact, in every case, you have actually been taught, over time, to think this way. Throughout your childhood and adolescence, and into college, medical school and residency, your stinkin' thinkin' has become such a prominent part of your thoughts, that it likely has you convinced that it's just who you are.

Stinkin' thinkin' is all of the habits of thought and limiting beliefs that ultimately sabotage our greatest work, our dreams, our joy and our fulfillment. One simple example is the belief among healthcare professionals that self-care activities (e.g. sleep, healthy eating, hydration, healthcare maintenance exams, exercise, etc.) are selfish and perhaps even a sign of weakness. And, of course, healthcare professionals know this is simply crap. Funny thing is, though, if you watch yourself and your peers in healthcare, it doesn't take long to witness this crap in action. You'll hear bragging about being up all night and in clinic the following day, excuses for not getting adequate sleep or exercise, and justifications for the Snickers and soda pop for lunch.

This crap is easy to spot in healthcare.

It stinks, but there is a way out of this sh*?!.

One thing healthcare professionals will appreciate is that although there is no perfect algorithm for extricating our minds from the crap, the neuro-scientific evidence absolutely supports our ability to retrain our brains and successfully rewire the neuro-pathways to better serve us and our patients. When we cut away the crap in our minds that keeps us stuck in states of helplessness, hopelessness, or martyrdom, we get back to the good stuff- our purpose, passion, joy and drive to help and serve in meaningful ways. We might even have some fun!!

We have to start with "cutting the crap" . It is then, and only then, that we will be optimally positioned to get to the real business at hand- rebuilding the system of healthcare into a place where we promote health and well-being for all- patients and providers alike.

Healthcare needs us, not our crap.


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