Doctoring Reflection

The power of positive feedback: Making the Top Docs list

It happened.

My 21-year old cycling teammate called to give me the “good” news.

I made it.

Clayton said I could now call myself a Top Doc.

After practicing medicine for 15 years in the little known sub-sub-specialty of cardiac electrophysiology, this was my first Top Docs mention.

Of course, I know this non-evidenced based list is totally unscientific. Inaccurate even, as it had me listed as a top “Interventional” doc.

But I will confess. Making the list felt good. I am sorry. It just did. And it’s really a tad embarrassing to admit to feeling such positive sensations. So is this: In the office today, I felt less testy, more responsive to patients and staff and perhaps, even happier. On one occasion, I said to myself, “a Top Doc would handle this situation with kindness.”

Yes, I talk to myself; don’t you? My imaginary friend tells me lots of good stuff: I am really fast on the bike, a great doc and a really attentive husband, for instance. I hope your buddy tells you the same. Wait a minute; imaginary friends are another post entirely. Back to the list.

The list of Top docs included other professionals for which I have tremendous respect–though many deserved doctors were not mentioned. Being on the list lumped me in good company. This too, felt nice. Confirmation. Validation.

Don’t worry, I won’t go overboard in my self-worth.

But I have to tell you. I think the message is this:

Positive feedback has striking powers. Here I was recognized with a number of other doctors that I immensely respect. It was like being mentioned on #ff (Twitter) with other talented writers. It touches you inside. It just does. It’s visceral. Gosh, there is so much negativity in medicine these days. Negativity is everywhere.

It makes me wonder: What if the health-policy makers, safety mavens and quality advocates told doctors how well they were doing once in a while?

Randomize positive feedback to the current milieu. Your hypothesis?


3 replies on “The power of positive feedback: Making the Top Docs list”

How coincidentaL I was over at AAA yesterday afternoon signing up for 12 months when a plush sports car pulls in next to me. His license tag said TOPDOC. I just wanted to go over and say “Wayda Go.” But didn’t. I get a second chance. “Wayda go, John.”

And from other posts seen here I’ve put together a very nice card to send to my EP for, in effect, bringing me back to life. A “thank you” will be sent to him with best wishes. Why we readily thank the wrench who trues our wheel but forget to thank our EP is a mystery.

Similarly, I’d like to thank the doctors (?) who produce some other medically related blogs. But those monikers in place of names is distancing. Up comes the issue of accessibility, …at least. Best to you, John. Keep listening to that imaginary friend. He’s putting you in the break. Rick

love the blog!

I live in Richmond, KY and a heart patient at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, KY. Dr. Carol Cottrill is my doctor. I have been a patient of hers since I was about 2. Before then a Dr. Johnson took care of me. I am now following your blog.

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