Why Doctors Write

Psychiatrist Greg Smith, MD, who also writes for  KevinMD, wrote a nice guest post about why doctors write:

If you’re a writer, you have to write. It’s a compulsion. For me, it’s the first thing I want to check off my ToDo app list for the day after making coffee. I write to think out loud. I write to teach. I write to share feelings. I write to celebrate. I write to mourn loss. I write to dream. I write to chastise. I write to lose myself and escape the grinding, wrenching, painful day-to-day stuff of life. I write to exercise a part of my brain that gets little use in my real job. I write because I have been a writer since I was a little kid, since I won that first essay contest medal in school or that first D.A.R. speech competition and realized that if I wrote it, if I said it, somebody would pay attention to it. I write because I’m a a writer.

If you’re a doctor, a good doctor, you want to share. You want to teach. You want to put out there what you know, thinking that you can reach just one more person and bring insight to just one more soul who needs it. It’s about ego, of course it is, because you wouldn’t or couldn’t do it without a healthy one, but that’s not all.

It’s about being needed, being relevant. It’s about knowing that what you do makes a difference in this world. You can share by talking to one patient at a time. That’s perfectly fine. You can write columns for your local paper. You can give speeches about a new surgical procedure at the Lions Club. That’s fine. You can do a podcast…

The point is, you want to be heard…


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