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Tuesday
Dec062011

The Medtrix

What is The Medtrix? It is the medical career that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth: that you are a slave.

Look, I've come to terms with the fact that I'm a massive nerd. I can only parse the world through the lens of science fiction movies I've seen. Don't laugh now—it's a real condition with its own ICD-9 code: 003.14, Dorkiness NOS. The typical signs and symptoms include choosing Internal Medicine as a career, owning 20-sided dice, and receiving unexpected wedgies at cocktail parties from orthopods named Chip.

But after working as a full-time clinical hospitalist for almost 9 years now, I'm starting to appreciate some eerie parallels to the sci-fi classic The Matrix. Although I admit I have yet to see a single doctor at the hospital wearing a skin-tight leather bodysuit. Scrub-chaps, maybe, but no leather. Wait, where was I?

Oh yeah. For many of us practicing clinical medicine, the world can sometimes take on an unreal, dreamlike quality. Like we're going through the motions of someone else's life.

Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream?

For the majority of my clinical career, I've had this nagging feeling. I'm suspecting many in medicine today may have felt similarly: that the REAL world is out there, and we're trudging through someone else's construct instead. The key question we have to ask ourselves is less HOW to escape the Medtrix, but WHETHER to escape.

You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.

Take the blue pill, continue along your current path. Take the red pill, and see what fascinating opportunities await you outside of, or in addition to, the confines of clinical medicine. One thing though: avoid the brown pill. Trust me on this.

Over the next few weeks and months I'd like to drag you through my own journey from pure clinician to…well, like any good sci-fi series you'll have to stay tuned to see what happens! Hang tight and together we'll see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind. Welcome to the real world.

"Whoa."

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