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__________________________________ In what ways does writing help you practice medicine and in what ways do you think it might hurt?Jamie Weisman: William Faulkner said something to the effect that writing is a discovery process.
One thing I love about medicine is that I am always learning.
The pace of new discoveries in genetics and biochemistry is dizzying, and I could always read more.
Time spent writing or reading for pleasure is time not spent reading journals, seeing patients or volunteering indigent care.
My skills as a doctor are in high demand, and if I wanted to participate in an activity that is demanding with little financial rewards, I could absolutely spend more time working for free, teaching or traveling to areas of underserved populations.
Paul Seward: Perhaps the greatest help was rest and solace.
I find writing to be a solitary sport, a conversation with an invisible imaginary friend.
And the reflection encouraged me to practice more deliberately and humanely.
Of course, when you are in the midst of writing, there is a danger that you will view your participation in a patient’s care as part of a narrative that you have constructed.
For that matter, the questions posed to us in this Lit Hub piece are designed to be open-ended, and I am genuinely curious to hear my colleagues’ answers.
So the short answer for me is that writing reminds me that I have to start somewhere with questioning but that the place I end up might be somewhere else entirely.