Authenticity in philosophy is a technical term used to describe the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures.
I have heard Seth Godin share his view on authenticity.
“Perhaps the only truly authentic version of you is just a few days old, lying in a crib, pooping in your pants.
Ever since then, there’s been a cultural overlay, a series of choices, strategies from you and others about what it takes to succeed in this world (in your world).
And so it’s all invented.”
My own observations in hospitals, clinics, healthcare organizations, and in the corporate world of healthcare is that people swear.
I have been in corporate business reviews, cancer case conferences, surgical suites, emergency room departments, infusion areas, peer review meetings and national conferences and I have heard everyone from CEO’s to physicians to nurses to ancilliary staff curse.
I have even heard patients curse out loud.
Some have used curse words to express their anger. Others have used it to express their frustration. Many have used a well-placed curse word to make their point with emphasis.
It appears to me that behind closed doors people have no problems cursing, cussing, or swearing.
Yet put it out in the open, for all to see, in a transparent manner and people get scared.
Are we afraid of being real?
Are we afraid of highlighting an issue and having a conversation?
Are we afraid of having to deal and address the emotions of those we interact with or our own?
Is healthcare so fucking oblivious to the harsh realities that we think if we sugar coat the words we use that we can hide our shortcomings?
The reality, at least my reality, is that healthcare needs to grow the fuck up and have a real dialogue.
We need to reach beyond our comfort zones and interact with people, with patients, with one another and address the real problems we are facing.
The reality is that if we do not address the issues, the machines will.
While the machines will own IQ, our opportunity is to own the EQ.
If we do not take the opportunity to stop, listen, observe, and have real fucking conversations about our biggest problems and challenges, then the future we face is one without “Me” in medicine.
That is not the future I want.
I do not believe that is the future you want.
I do not believe that is the future patients want.
We all want to be seen as humans.
All we want is to connect and be part of something fucking great.
Deliver care at the N of 1.