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?