It’s not easy being sensitive and insightful in today’s fast-paced world, as flashy, quick, manipulative, and glib behavior is rewarded much more quickly than thoughtful, introspective, non-attention-seeking behavior.
For example, consider the pressure employee-physicians are under today to spend eight minutes or less with each patient, that’s 60 patients a day…or more.
No time for active listening, no time for feeling, and no time for intuiting…only time for decision-making based on a very limited perception of what is truly going on.
Immersion in this environment, day after day…week after week…year after year…leads the physician to learn that there is no time for caring…only time ACTING and action.
Are there exceptions? Absolutely, but the truth is that more and more of the masters of interpersonal communication and true facilitators of healing are retiring early, leaving medicine, or trying to relaunch solo independent practices. In other words, the are leaving the procedure-driven “state-of-the-art”, “evidence-based” and industrialized version of medicine.
Those who can adapt stay. Those who are in so much debt that they can not leave – stay. And those who can not tolerate it any longer – go. Those who leave are often replaced with technocrats who know a lot more about corporate policy and its systems than the art of healing. But even a technocrat has a heart, albeit denied or buried…
You see, there is a price we pay for abandoning our true nature in favor of acting like a drone. And in spite of what the culture seems to demand, we can’t overestimate the value of insight and authenticity. If we fail to acknowledge this truth, we risk failing to know ourselves in any significant way, and subsequently fail to realize our vision and find our purpose because we have no idea what to look for or what to build.
And all of this means failing to grow in any meaningful way, which then leads to regression, repression, addiction, diversion, and an unhappy and perhaps foreshortened life.
As dentists today, we have a choice as to whether or not to follow our medical colleagues down the rabbit hole of industrialized health care insensitivity. Let’s hope that more and more of us choose not to go there and instead choose to maintain their humanity to everyone’s benefit.
Paul A Henny, DDS
Thought Experiments LLC, © 2017