Play along with me for a minute. Sit. Close your eyes. Block your ears. Erase your thoughts. You can’t see anything. Nothing. Blackness. Trapped. Still. Ignored. Silent. Misunderstood. That’s right. That’s how many — if not most — patients feel they are seen in healthcare around the world. It’s how many progressive healthcare leaders feel in an ‘old boys club’ network that still runs the core of our industry. Overpowered. Suppressed. Censored — censored by physicians if you’re a patient; censored by fear, big business, and policy if you’re a progressive healthcare leader.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Things could change — for the better.
As someone who has Asperger’s, fights severe depression, and constantly drowns in a sea of anxiety, I have seen the black and white, silent side of healthcare as a patient.
But rarely have I felt and experienced the overpowered, suppressed, censored side of also being a healthcare leader — although I have seen it time and time again.
Sure, I have been chastised for being different and straying outside the lines, but pure censorship — not a chance.
I have been fortunate enough in my career to work for employers that supported my envelope-pushing style of business. And I have been fortunate enough to surround myself with peers in the industry that share similar views.
But again, censored — surely not me.
That was until today.
A simple change of a title.
“UnFuck Healthcare” to “UnF#*k Healthcare.”
Without my fucking permission.
Two simple characters replacing two seemingly simple letters.
But that pun is a perfect example.
How many times a day do we send a spouse, a colleague, a friend, a peer — shit, even a child — the abbreviated version of that phrase. What. The. Fuck. …. WTF?
Have we really become that fucking uptight? That tense? That anxious? That afraid?
It’s a word, just like many other words, that has multiple meanings.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
We do it, say it, think it, all the fucking time behind closed fucking doors.
Shit, we even say it from the pulpit in church every now and then (although some in the Episcopal Church, like myself, would simply blame the wine).
So, let’s look at what the fuck it means and take a gander at why the fuck I’m upset.
“In the early 16th century, it is believed to be of Germanic origin (compare Swedish dialect focka and Dutch dialect fokkelen); possibly from an Indo-European root meaning ‘strike’, shared by Latin pugnus ‘fist’.”
Actually, no, let’s just fucking define it. It’s fucking easier:
As a verb, the Oxford Dictionaries defines it as to “have sexual intercourse with (someone).”
Surely the title of my blog post wasn’t insinuating we literally go out and try to fuck healthcare.
I mean, come the fuck on. Be fucking serious.
I know we’re in fucking healthcare and we like to talk about vulgar shit, but that’s just mother fucking ludicrous.
So aside from intercourse with healthcare, what the fuck could I have meant?
Well, perhaps it was how the Oxford Dictionaries defines the word as a noun, and thus as “an act of sexual intercourse.”
You’ve got one hell of an imagination to think we can be fucking an entire industry.
So, perhaps it’s how the Oxford Dictionaries describes it as an exclamation: “used alone or as a noun or verb in various phrases to express annoyance, contempt, or impatience.”
Ah, yes, there we have it.
Now perhaps you understand my fucking frustration.
Get the fuck over yourselves and get some shit fucking done.
Do more than fucking expected.
Deliver good fucking healthcare.
Do it at the fucking N of 1.
And if you fail to embrace change, then I guess we’re just fucked.