I treated myself to a study day on Friday, I went along because Iona Heath and Margaret McCartney were both speaking and I was intersted to hear what they had to say. I admire them both and also hoped to get to meet them “in the flesh”.
It was an interesting experience and I learnt a lot not just about the subject being discussed, Too Much Medicine, but also I spent time observing other participants and their interactions. GPs and hospital consultants were interacting and learning alongside each other. However there were two main issues for me – one that GPs kept saying they were “just a GP” and also that fear and anxiety about decision making and management repercussions for things going wrong in clinical practice was evident.
Like my experience at the Wounded Healer conference in September I felt that my medical colleagues feel beleagured and disempowered. I suggested to Iona Heath (for I sat with her at lunch!!) that maybe it was time we all worked together in health care, that professional hierarchies and silo thinking only helps politicians and we need to act now to establish trust and confidence in the work place. The patients needing care are not “the enemy”, seeing health care as a battlefield that requires defensive strategies helps no one.. it is time to change the conversations. Let’s talk to each other and admit our inter-dependence… we need strong leaders who can ask the right questions and be courageous in their call to action.
I believe that it is possible to begin to work together and that social media will be a catalyst for change. I still have much to think about but I think it is time some of us came out of the shadows and started believing that ruffling feathers and asking questions is the least we can do to start making a difference.