As many of you know, I’m honored to be invited to give a TEDx talk on July 23rd in Fargo, North Dakota.
What most of you don’t know is that I’ve rewritten my talk over thirty times.
Well, for starters, like most of us in medicine, I’m a perfectionist. That’s a good thing, right?
Being a perfectionist is good in the O.R. But other times, not so much.
But it’s not all about the perfectionist thing, I’m afraid. I’ve found out some secrets about what other people think.
Here are the lessons I’ve learned about sharing my life message. Some of it’s not too pretty, so be warned.
Wish I could say that I wrote my first draft, tweaked it a couple times, and it’s been smooth sailing since then.
But that’s not how it went down.
I wanted to share our message of physician burnout with the world, and let our patients know that, despite all the negatives in our current medical world, we still love them.
It turns out, my friends, that people are not that concerned about physician burnout. Even if I explain that, as a patient, it would be good for them to know these things. I’m sorry that it’s true. But there. I said it.
When I practiced my talk to groups of non-medical folks, the feedback was, “Those are good stories, but what’s in it for me? Why should I care?”
So, I had to decide: find a message that would resonate with a broader audience and still be a spokesman for our community at LoveMedicineAgain.com. Or hope that all the doctors who felt our pain — and our joy — at being in medicine would by magic find my TEDx talk.
I picked “A.”
Honing my message after weeks and weeks and really baring my soul to strangers in my practice audience has taught me some lessons. Lessons that can help you in your world. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
Getting to the core of your beliefs makes you strong.
Owning your vulnerability helps others admit theirs.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in my learning curve, I’m afraid. I’m grateful for our international community here and the support from our members that we share.
Stay tuned as the date gets closer. And remember that what you have to share with the world every day is every bit — in fact, more — important as my little talk.
If you have any wisdom on public speaking you’d like to share, so I can represent our community better, please chime in, in the comments below.
We’re all in this together, my friends.