National Physician Week 2022
March is a month full of days to celebrate for those in medicine. For all of us "science nerds" we have National Pi Day on March 14th every year, and as we look forward to April and signs of Spring, we have an ENTIRE seven days, from March 25-March 31 to "pat ourselves on the back." And pat we should, because, honestly...we deserve it. It took us many years of hard work and dedication to get through college, medical school, internship, residency, and for some of us, through one or more fellowships. Our profession is truly a calling, one in which we commit to life-long learning, teaching and to the service of others.
CELEBRATING ALL PHYSICIANS
We are members of a "Secret Society" of sorts. a highly selective fraternal organization known as the House of Medicine. Becoming a physician requires that we "pledge" to an institution that is well known for large time commitments, frequent tests, costly fees, and tacit submission to traditions which include a form of hazing, hierarchical gerontocracy, and a tremendous amount of sacrifice. Is it worth it?
ABSOLUTELY. A TIMELESS HONOR AND A PRIVILEGE
Graduating from medical school to become a physician (a "real" doctor) is a true privilege. Many aspire to achieve this high honor, but very few are able to rise to the occasion. On an airplane, the pilot is the "captain of the ship," and in a restaurant, the chef is the "head honcho." In healthcare, the "House of Medicine" naturally belongs to physicians, and although we shouldn't need a day or a week to remind us of our role and position, it IS nice to feel appreciated from time to time.
WAIT, I THOUGHT WE ONLY GOT A DAY?
This is actually the SEVENTH anniversary of the celebration of National Physician's Week. March 30th is the date that most hospital systems and healthcare administrators have traditionally recognized as the day to celebrate physicians. Doctors' Day was first conceived of in the 1930s and was unofficially observed for several decades before it became a legal holiday. On March 30 of 1958 the US House of Representatives adopted a resolution commemorating Doctors' Day, and on October 30 of 1990, President George W.
Bush signed the legislation into law after both the House and the Senate approved it. PHYSICIANS WORKING TOGETHER A quarter of a century later, in 2015, Dr. Kimberly Jackson, founded one of my favorite grass-roots organizations, Physicians Working Together. PWT is a bipartisan, gender-inclusive group of over 9,000 doctors who share similar values. Alarmed by the mass-exodus of veteran physicians from medicine (and recognizing that we need to actively participate in the education of medical students to build a sustainable healthcare system) Dr. Jackson came up with the idea of National Physicians Week to boost the morale of physicians. PWT (which is a 501 C-3 non-profit organization) connects, collaborates, and cares for physicians, medical students, and ALL of the communities we serve.
Tax-deductible contributions are used to help support medical students as they strive to become physicians.
IT'S REALLY NOT ABOUT US
The reason physicians exist is to expertly care for our patients. We can't do what we do without a supportive team around us, which includes both clinical and non-clinical staff. Make sure to mark these important days, weeks, and months on YOUR personal calendars so that you can plan ahead and celebrate YOUR team! In this spirit, Physician Outlook Magazine and the American College of Healthcare Trustees collaborated to jointly recognize colleagues who have gone above and beyond as "Healthcare Leaders of the Year."
DOCTORS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Physician Outlook has also teamed up with "SoMeDocs" to showcase a platform that makes EVERY physician shine as the experts we are. "Founded by Dr. Dana Corriel, a physician herself, SoMeDocs is a classy, edgy 'online curated directory' that truly puts ALL physicians front and center. She has created a unique, affordable, and transparent way for physicians to display what THEY want the world to know about them. As physicians, we need to "own" our own brand, our own identities, our publications, and our outside interests. We should be able to control what a "Google" search reveals about ourselves. Retired physicians use their SoMeDocs DataBank profiles to create a "living legacy" that tells their own unique stories, a self-created page that leaves an accurate "forever footprint" in the digital world. We shouldn't have to wait to read an obituary to catch up with the lives and careers of old professors or physician colleagues.
For medical students, SoMeDocs is a place to highlight their educational journeys and present themselves to training programs via a curated social media site that residency and fellowship directors use for background research. Having a publicly-facing "dynamic bio" that encourages young medical professionals to display and be proud of their accomplishments will help them to retain their autonomy throughout their careers. For physicians who are already established "doctor-preneurs" the SoMeDocs platform facilitates amplification and collaboration so that physician leaders and influencers can create larger communities and followers, sell books, promote training courses, podcasts, and mentor other physicians interested in creating passive income streams. And for the many physicians who are "just" practicing clinical medicine, SoMeDocs offers a publicly searchable "Curriculum Vitae" that the individual physician controls the content of.
YOU decide what picture appears on your profile (no more dorky "white coat" pictures taken for your hospital badge). Your SoMeDocs portfolio can serve as a patient resource site, where you can provide lists of your favorite podcasts, books, newsletters, YouTube videos, and other educational resources and "life-hacks" that will inevitably make your day-to-day practicing career more efficient and enjoyable. It is no secret that we physicians are losing our voices and our identities in a healthcare system that essentially "uses" us for billing, supervision of non-physician providers, and as a shield against liability. I encourage EVERY medical student and physician, whether practicing or not to claim their free "Data Bank" profile at www.DoctorsOnSocialMedia.com. Established entrepreneurs should choose the NETWORK level membership (which costs less than $100/month) and for those who are just dipping their toes into the water of a life outside of clinical medicine, there is an option for a PORTFOLIO membership that costs less them $200 per year.