on excellence-an open letter to our incoming pediatric residents, and to graduating medical students everywhere

This is graduation season. I have given a number of graduation talks to residents beginning a new facet of their careers. I thought I would share parts of the last graduation speech I was invited to give to the finishing pediatric residents at the University of Maryland Medical System and School of Medicine, before I left there to start the newest facet of my career at Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital. Excellence has been on my mind lately, as I contemplate the start of our new Pediatric residency. And so instead of waiting until they are going out into the world at large following their training with us, I would like to share my feelings about excellence as they get ready to start.

 Dear in-coming resident:

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why am I like Seth Godin?

I never thought that my ideas about how folks become excellent physicians would correspond to advice from a social media marketing guru. However, last week, when I was perusing Seth Godin’s blog I came across a post entitled “Why ask why?” and was amazed to find that our philosophical approaches are almost identical.

Seth believes that “why?” is the most important question, and not asked often enough. I thoroughly agree

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the hidden academic

There is something that most of us “academic types” do that often goes unrecognized, and is almost always undervalued. However, it is a big part of my life, and I thought you might enjoy learning about it. Of course you might think it’s total nonsense, and that’s OK too. Just bear with me for a few moments.

Are you trying to guess what I am thinking? What this post is about?

It’s about reviewing manuscripts that have been submitted for possible publication in medical and scientific journals.

This is the story of PEER REVIEW

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what do you think about social media in medicine?

In a recent post I discussed some of the reasons why physicians like myself might choose to blog, tweet and communicate via Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus. As I mentioned then, there is a bunch of controversy over the use of social media communication in the field of medicine. Those who don’t use it don’t see why anyone should use it. Some use it inappropriately. Some break ethical standards, or laws such as HIPAA by divulging protected private information about patients.

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my visit to the pediatrician

I have a new grandson--that is the good news.

He lives in Boston with his parents and older brother--that is the bad news from my perspective

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when doctors disagree

There should always be ONE right answer to any problem in medicine. You should be able to seek advice from a qualified physician about your symptoms and get an answer. If you present the next doctor you see with the same symptoms he or she should offer you the same advice as the first.

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Who killed my mother?

I read an interesting blog post this week by Mark Schaefer,  one of my favorite social media gurus. In it, he talks about a negative experience he and his wife had recently in a hospital. The question was, what should he have done, if anything, to correct the problem, and whether he should have used his popularity and influence within social media circles (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and his blog) to "destroy" the hospital, when he received what sounded like a not-very authentic apology from the patient representative.

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collaboration--your help is needed

I am planning to spend most of this weekend writing a chapter on NP/physician collaboration for a resource book by and for nurse practitioners. I would love to hear from my readers any insights, impressions, beliefs, concerns about the collaborative nature of practices that involve NPs.

If you are an NP,

I would love to read how you have found your relationships with various physicians with whom you have worked. Are they interested in collaboration or do they have other reasons for working with an NP? What are the barriers you have found to NP/doc collaboration? How have you worked to overcome those barriers?

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