I’ve mentioned this before, but as a doctor I live in a bubble. It’s a very comfortable place, and there are times when I really just want to crawl back into it.
My Dr bubble is a lovely place because it’s safe. It’s a place where professionals know best, and always do the right thing. Our decisions are the right ones and when things go wrong it’s because of things outside our control.
It’s a bubble where I only meet other professionals and we use special words. We complain about things that only we understand: the hours we work; the demands on the service; how terrible it is to have the canteen close at 6pm; and how busy we are.
It’s safe and comfortable and invisible when you’re inside it.
The first thing that punctured my bubble was Twitter & the people that I’ve met on there. At first, I didn’t realise that my bubble even existed: it’s taken some very patient people a lot of time to get me to realise that it is there. (@betabetic mainly but many others)
The more people I met, the more I started thinking about my reactions to things. Whenever a non-medic questions a decision that’s been made, I have to fight my automatic response to defend the Dr perspective. I find myself writing responses to tweets, reading them to myself, and being appalled by what I’ve written; going back & thinking again; trying to get outside my bubble.
And it’s a scary place to be. I’ve read families experiences where professionals close ranks and cluster together. I suspect that we don’t even recognise that we’re doing it; that attempts to step outside that bubble are so alien that we retreat. I know that I do, because it is safe in my bubble.
But it’s still not a great place to be; and it’s not why I became a Dr in the first place.