Since January 20th (some could argue since November 9, still others would argue since January 20th 2008… and the argument devolves from there), the discourse in mainstream & social media seems to have plummeted. We’re no longer talking about “the common good.” Rather, I’m seeing and reading an almost scary fascination with painting any who oppose a particular viewpoint as evil incarnate. As one side raises the intensity, the other sees and raises in kind (or unkind as it were). Quite simply, we’ve corporately stopped listening to anyone’s voice who opposes our own.
Drown out in the sea of arguing are the voices who can’t, don’t or just won’t shout others’ down. These voices want to be heard also. For these, convictions are no less strong and needs no less emergent. The recognition that each is a valued part of a stronger whole which is better together than separate is our bond.
But what does this have to do with The Voice of the Patient? It’s not a political blog… is it (angry face emoji)?
In the on-going national debate on healthcare, we agree on the destination: Achieving optimal health for the individual –> the community –> society as a whole. We may disagree on the path. A now old-fashioned concept that we might thing about dusting off here is “compromise.” We used to be able to introduce an idea and it wasn’t a personal affront.
As clinically minded people, outside of the whirlwind of politics, we’re entirely focused on our patients’ care and will go to bat for them at any cost. I’m calling on clinical folks (PTs like me, MDs, DOs, RNs, DCs, etc…) to listen to the voice of their patient. I’m also calling on us to listen to one another with the exact same intention – “I respect you as a person. Though I may not care for your opinion, I will not assign this dislike to you as a person.” In practicing and living this way, I know we can make so much more progress toward the goal above.
The truly grievous part is that we, as individuals and as a country, have the means and opportunity to come together, serve one another, and be stronger in the end.