Hi, I’m your Doctor and I Curse

“So…you have to take down the cuss word on your home page.”

This came from a business consultant I spoke to recently. She wanted to review my business, website, offerings, etc in order to assess my strengths and weaknesses with the work I’m doing in life coaching and coaching in healthcare. Ultimately, she wants to help me grow my business but this was not the advice I was expecting. 

This sentence came out shortly after she had just praised me on my branding, offerings, podcast and how authentic she felt like I was.

“Working with faith associated healthcare organizations, you are going to have to tone it down.”

What the fork!

I took a breath to choke back my initial response and then said calmly, “I toned it down for years and look where that led me…into despair, burnout and living an inauthentic life. I played the type of doctor that ‘I thought I should be’ and it got me a whole lot of baggage. I am now showing up as who I am. Good, bad and all in between. That’s not changing.”

I ask her if my cursing offended her. She replied, “No, I don’t think it’s a problem but if you want to start consulting with these organizations, you are going to have to remove it or replace it.”

“So, is it because I’m a woman using strong language or a doctor? Because as you well know, both doctors and women cuss. And I’m not attacking or directing my language at anyone. It’s an expression. It’s colorful. It’s me.”

She laughed because she is in emergency medicine, “No, I totally get it. I just had to tell you this.” (Also a quick shout out to all my EM colleagues…you are badass mutha forkers!!)

That got me thinking, “Do I want to go here? Do I want to jump into consulting, build a totally separate website so I can show up politically correct as a physician consultant yet maintain another website where I’m raw and real? What does this imply?”

I actually talked about this exact issue with a fellow colleague on my podcast, Doctor Me First episode 23entitled “The F word with Dr. Allie Thomas-Fannin.” iTunes blocks you with explicit language in your title, come to find out so hence the change (should have used Fork I guess). She discusses how cursing can actually be insightful for the patient encounter.

So what say you? Should doctors cuss? Should we ‘clean up our acts’ to appease others? Should we be real in some places but change ourselves in others?

Watch for my next blog post on my response but I would love to hear yours too!

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Errin Weisman DO

Errin Weisman, DO is a life coach, podcaster and fierce advocate for wellness in medicine. She faced professional burnout early in her career and speaks openly about about her story in order to help others, particularly female physicians and working moms, know they are not alone. Dr. Weisman wholeheartedly believes to be a healer, you must first fill your own cup. She lives and practices life coaching and medicine in rural Southwestern Indiana, loves her roles as farmer’s wife, athlete and mother of three.You can find out more about Dr. Weisman on her podcast Doctor Me First, her website truthrxs.com or hang out with her on social media @truthrxs. Her podcast is “Doctor Me First”. 

  4 comments for “Hi, I’m your Doctor and I Curse

  1. Aaron M Levine
    May 8, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    About a decade ago, I was off. The hospital changed the computer system that weekend. My admitting orders were suddenly erased. The doc on call kept getting calls to come in and rewrite my orders. He kept calling me. I showed up in a t shirt and cutoffs. I had not shaven (but I had bathed) for 2 days. The computer person did not know what to do and called a second and third one who came over with their cues and instructions. We were into 2 hours of straightening this out. They were angry at me. I yelled, shut the F up as you ruined my day off. I was reprimanded and listed as disruptive, I had my “peer hearing” and was told by administration that doctors never curse. I mentioned I had a surgical back ground and I always heard my teachers curse like sailors. I had been in the army as a doctor and heard more cursing. I was told I had a poor attitude for the development of a treatment team. I bit my tongue as I was not yet ready to retire.

  2. Rick M Singel
    May 8, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    First of all, when I hear the term “life coach”, my BS meter explodes.
    Secondly, consultants are merely people who will take the watch off of your wrist and tell you what time it is.
    Thirdly, no, I don’t want my physicians using crude and foul language. They’d be one and done for me.

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  3. Stephen O'
    May 4, 2019 at 9:41 am

    I summon the dark forces of George Orwell upon the heads of such blithering idiots as your business consultant, curse and damn them to the deeper reaches of CMS, HHS and Hell. There. That’s a curse for you. Pentacles and shit.
    Injecting plasticity into the meaning of words is the hallmark of propaganda. One cannot churn out meaningless bureaucratese without rubber words such as “medical home” and the co-option of “evidence-based.” Such sloppiness risks increasing harm and injury to actual individuals by inane actions of the bureaucracy. “It is what it is,” as they say.
    Somehow, the independent words cursing, swearing and obscenity were tossed into the Victorian barrel of impropriety. Cursing is invocation of supernatural malice upon an object. Swearing is the invocation of supernatural witness to aver one’s honesty. Obscenity is often the discussion of prurient actions, although Wikipedia states obscenity as any utterance or act that strongly offends the prevalent morality of the time.
    Since the prevalent morality of our time is lying, especially for personal gain, obscenity appears to be the telling of the naked truth to the unwilling.
    A number of large institutions with great power to manipulate individuals and society have buttfucked American Medicine. I apologize; perhaps the word I used should be hyphenated, my bad.
    Such honesty can only be used on rogue websites, such as this, where the truth will not be splashed about so as to sully too many those with dainty instincts.
    Whether or not you choose to use power words, as I referred to them when my son was young, is up to you. If you prefer powerless words, good onya.

  4. David Dierks Fitzpatrick
    May 3, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    It always comes down to “Know your audience”.
    Some will nod and be glad that you are real. Some will bug out their eyes, leave and speak bad about you to their dying breath.

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