Started a new book this week. Seth Godin’s Linchpin. It’s all about what it means to be indispensable; what do I contribute that know one else does. While I am still just breaking the surface of the book, it has got me thinking, especially as I am working on my applications for medical school.
One idea that Seth talks about a lot is how the old economy was all about making everything replaceable, from replaceable parts to replaceable humans. Now, in an age where nearly everything is easily replaceable, there is more value than ever on the things that can’t be replaced (cheaper costs which drove the movement towards replaceable parts can go to zero, whereas fresh ideas and innovation has no limit as far as we know).
Ok so what do I have to offer to the world of medicine. On one hand I am concerned because in the world of medicine, that’s one place where you don’t want a lot experimenting going on, at least with patients. On the other hand I see it as challenge. In a career where one distinguishes themselves simply by maintaining the status quo and “following the rules”, how can I be different, where can I add myself into the mix. It’s easy* to be a good doctor, but what separates a good doctor from an indispensible one. From a medical standpoint there shouldn’t be much variation between then. I think what differentiates the two is the “emotional labor” which Seth also talks about. The work of showing patients that you care. I also think the medical geniuses are the ones who rethink the way we do medicine entirely (and who knows maybe there’s a revolution out there waiting for someone to strike the match).
Seth says we all have the capacity to be geniuses (some of us very stable ones), and that even those that we regard as some of the most the revolutionary minds of our time only spend about 5 minutes of their day as a genius, the rest is just work that anyone could do. Genius doesn’t mean everyone will like it, it means only you can do it (or at least you are one of the few can).
*Of course it’s not easy, but it is something that you can develop with practice.
Here’s another article that I think is worth checking out: