Before I started my journey on the interview trail, I knew I had to be cautious of what I shared on social media. With my classmates making their profiles private and changing their names, I will admit that I was somewhat nervous to keep putting myself out there. But as Austin concluded in this article, I felt that it was important that I be comfortable using social media and having complex discussions online. Moreso, I felt that I needed to be myself. I felt that if a program didn’t care for my content, they would not genuinely care for me.
As I continue my journey on the interview trail, I still believe this is the case. But for some reason I’ve been finding it more and more difficult to find my voice. Every stance I take or point I make I can’t help but question – what will others try to debate?
How do I talk about wellness without sounding lazy? If I say something is hard, does that make me weak? How do I discuss the costs of medical school without sounding entitled? If I say I experienced imposter syndrome, will they think I’m incompetent? Insecure? Unprepared? And what position am I in to be questioning the state of our healthcare system? A system in which I haven’t even been offered a job, let alone experienced what it is like to actually be employed as a physician.
Despite my hesitation to create new content, I have been very open in my application about my online activity. Interviewers have asked me about my personal blog, Marin In Medicine, as well as specific articles published here on Authentic Medicine. I’ve shared about my involvement with the group SoMeDocs (Doctors on Social Media) and my role as a moderator of their weekly Twitter Chat.
But even so, every time I sit to write, I come to this point – a point where I need to make a point. A conclusion. I need to tie together my ramblings in a way that the reader will remember the purpose of all the word vomit that I have just thrown up onto the page.
So what is my point? My point is that this is hard! It’s hard to have an opinion, to write with a purpose when you’re constantly questioning if you should even be writing at all. When you don’t feel supported you try very hard to remain non-controversial, to avoid criticism or being discredited. My point is that future doctors should be encouraged to find their voice, and supported when they share their opinions – whether you agree or not! Now more than ever, rising physicians need to become leaders in healthcare, but how is that supposed to happen if we are taught from the get-go to keep quiet and keep our heads down? It’s up to us to be the change we want to see in the healthcare system, and part of that is deciding, and talking, about what those changes look like.