10 Tips to Survive Online with Strong Opinions

A notorious doctor yelled at my friend, another doctor, “Why don’t you step outside so we can settle this?!”

Two hundred and fifty doctors at the OMA council meeting had watched the angry doc march across the front of the auditorium. His red face, clenched fists and raised voice gave him the spotlight he craved.

My friend had said something at the microphone. The angry doc took offence. He demanded an apology or else.

I secretly hoped that the little man would attack my friend, so that I could jump to the rescue: like breaking up hockey fight.

But nothing beats the excitement of medical politics over the last five years in Ontario. Continue reading “10 Tips to Survive Online with Strong Opinions”

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Writing Process Blog Tour

Writing Process Blog TourLara Whatley invited me to share about my writing for the Writing Process Blog Tour.  Thanks Lara!

Lara’s first book, The Last Pages, released last week, but she hasn’t basked in the glow yet.  She’s editing her sequel for submission before starting CEO leadership program at Muskoka Woods next week.  Lara, you rock!

Writing Process

  1. What am I currently working on?

I keep four baskets of writing ideas in mind:  blog, popular media, journal articles, and books.  While life conspires against producing content, I can usually get 2-3 short posts out per week.  I’d like to be more intentional about setting goals for each basket.

I have almost completed a small book on patient flow in emergency medicine.  It outlines the approach our team took to make us #1 in the Ontario for the last few years.

  1. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Very few write about medical politics from the inside.  It’s too dangerous.  People working outside healthcare can offer pointed criticism without worrying about their jobs.  But if you work inside the system and help lead it, you must think hard about core issue you would die for.

  1. Why do I write what I do?

Patient benefit.  I wish more people working inside the system would write about how Medicare puts providers before patients.  Provider are important, but not the focus of healthcare.  We need to put patients first, not budgets or process or unions or contracts or anything else.

I believe writing changes the way people think.

  1. How does my writing process work?

It starts with a good idea.  Since good ideas are easy to miss, I keep notebooks in Evernote for each type of writing.

Some ideas stand without support, but most require links, references, etc.  I often start building an idea by finding out what others have said about it already.

Support drives argument.  I use what others say to support my perspective or argue against others in support of the idea I’m presenting.

I try to end with a call to action.  Sometimes this is easy, but most of the times I struggle with it.  Since I get most excited about ideas, my ‘call to action’ usually means encouraging people to think differently, which doesn’t pack the same interest as “Now look for 2 snacks to avoid purchasing today.”

Next blogs

My links for writing process are Gail Beck (drgailbeck.com), a member of the Order of Ontario with a CV too long to abbreviate, and Raj Waghmare, author, blogger (TheOverheadPage) , guitarist, Dad and power forward.  They are MD writers with very different stories.  I look forward to hearing about their writing process!


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