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Nathalie Martinek PhD @NatsforDocs
, 21 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
This is my commentary on #twitter #movements. Before I go I want to preface this with a statement: I love humans. We're amazing creative & powerful beings. I'm fascinated by human behaviour and the hidden motivations underlying our basic need to belong. 1/
I've observed some movements taking off on Twitter. Some for #MedEd, raising awareness, knowledge sharing, inspiration and sharing failings, wounds & triumphs. Generally they support creative expression in 280 characters. Awesome! 2/
As these movements gain momentum, more people want to join in b/c #belonging. I'm seeing a disturbing trend of sharing experiences of patients/clients to promote how deep & human they are. Some are purely intended, some not. 3/
Where's the line between sharing testimonials for self-promotion & desire to contribute meaningfully to a conversation that doesn't compromise confidentiality & personal ethics? Wait, there's more. 4/
Here's the thing. One of the biggest businesses in medicine currently is #burnout prevention. Everyone's fed up: it's harming healthcare professionals, patients & destroying the system (good for forced innovation... oops sidetracked). Burnout causes are multifactorial. 5/
Some are external factors like abusive, exclusive & conformity-driven workforce cultures that leave little room for professional creativity, self-expression & performing the duties they actually signed up for before at least a decade of intense education & training. 6/
There are internal factors, such as feeling in control of your life, sense of personal & professional satisfaction. Literature says a lot about emotional exhaustion. I disagree. This falls into the causes of empathic drain/compassion fatigue. That's a thread for another day. 7/
One of the biggest drains of energy that contribute to burnout is not a shitty workplace, lack of self-care, busyness, interpersonal conflict or anything anyone is talking about. Are you still with me?

I'm talking about needing APPROVAL. 8/
Like belonging, approval is a basic human need. If you think about how we're raised, educated & promoted along a career path, it's mainly based on proving one's value based on a set of expectations, KPIs, GPA scores and so on. 9/
Sometimes (too often!) we'll go above & beyond to gain approval from the authority figure holding power that permits us to rise & succeed, according the implied & explicit cultural rules, regulations & standards. Our need for approval is primal & many will do anything for it 10/
such as publicly share confidential information, sensationalise private & personal experiences, self-promote for likes and any other soul sucking actions for a temporary fix of external validation (vs contributing valuable info/insight) b/c we have yet to learn how 11/
to generate the energy of approval for ourselves. Approval doesn't come with conditions based on what others think of us. It's always there, unacknowledged. The moral dilemma that's created from intentionally/unknowingly feeding approval addiction is draining. 12/
because it's sending a message to our very core that we matter only when others show us we do. It's complete BS. There is no amount of external 'likes' & validation that will ever satisfy our need to approve of who we are, where we're at in life & that our life matters. 13/
It's ok -we all have it because we've been conditioned to always seek approval from an authority figure: a parent, colleague, teacher, supervisor, culture, community, society, SoMe movement instead of being shown how to recognise signs of needing approval & to meet them ourselves
Checking in with ourselves before we post or declare something can help us avoid forming a habit that feeds burnout-promoting approval addiction. The energy required to maintain it is exhausting. The unresolved anger or sadness that fills us when we don't get it is draining. 15/
Ethical practice applies beyond the clinic into all our interactions in person & online. I strive to get better at this all the time. I also recognise that what I say about others has a ripple effect, even if they don't know I'm talking about them. 16/
We can honour those who are no longer alive by being mindful about what we share about them, not because we're trying to make ourselves look good or have something clever/profound to share on #SoMe. It's because their lives mattered & they're not able to speak for themselves. 17/
If we're about changing the healthcare culture to prevent burnout, let's make sure we're not perpetuating those practices here in #SoMe land. Inclusion because we each matter shouldn't come with a moral pricetag. Approval is an inside job.

I can see the hypocrisy of tagging people. I'm doing so because I think they'll be interested. I'm thrilled if this starts a conversation or if this gentle rant helps one person to reflect on their habits & seek to form new self-fulfilling & energising ones.
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