Although Dermatology Insights and Inquiries (DI&I) started four months ago, it has really been in preparation for years in prior formats. Regardless, developing this website has been quite learning experience. To watch it grow from a simple concept to an active forum in such a short time has truly been remarkable.
I am humbled whenever a physician subscribes to DI&I. We are all bombarded with too much information already. Nobody would dare sign up for more reading unless they believed that it is worthwhile. As the number of subscribers increases, and as more physicians log on world-wide, sharing their viewpoints and expertise, the value of DI&I will blossom.
Every day I read or hear about physician burnout and the need for “work-life” balance. Years ago, I read the book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey, who tells the parable of “Sharpening the Saw”, based on the concept that if a saw is not sharpened, the blade becomes dull, and one has to work even harder to cut down the tree. Essentially, the moral is to “get away from it all” and do what you enjoy, in order to come back refreshed, energized, and focused on your career and family.
Recently, an internal medicine resident told me that she was planning to take some business courses so that when she burns out from her future hospitalist position, she will have an alternative career path. I was flabbergasted – it was not a matter of if she would burn out, but when. How sad. We are lucky to be dermatologists, which, despite the reports of increasing burnout in our discipline (because of the usual culprits – lack of autonomy in decision making, EHRs, insurance snafus, etc.), allows us to act as clinicians on our patients’ behalf, rather than human data entry machines.
The purpose of this post is to let you know that I will be taking a couple of weeks off. I wanted you to know why you may not be hearing from me for a little while. My wife and I look forward to visiting sites from London to Lisbon. I have always wanted to visit Normandy and pay my respects to those who gave their lives on D-Day.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt “thank you” for granting me the opportunity to share my perspectives on dermatology with you. I hope that this site continues to be even more valuable clinically and educationally in the future. Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts or suggestions on how to improve DI&I.
As the song goes “See you in September” (maybe sooner)!
Warren R. Heymann, MD