A writer’s lot can be rather frustrating when people read something quite different into a piece of writing than what the writer intended.
Generally I assume it means I haven’t expressed myself clearly enough – or that the reader has such a firmly focused set of lenses that they are incapable of viewing the world through any other prism.
But it can also be quite exhilarating if the reader’s perspectives add another dimension or layer to the original work.
The point of these musings is that earlier this year, I spent a few days with two GPs at Condell Park in Sydney’s south-west, Dr Sue Harnett and Dr Neale Gunning, in order to write this narrative piece for the online publication, Inside Story.
The aim of the exercise was simply to watch and listen, and to write what I saw and heard, without too much pontificating on bigger picture issues.
The only real editorialising that I allowed myself was to draw attention to the importance of relationships in health care, although we often hear far more about concepts such as governance and evidence and systems etc.
When I re-read the piece now, some time after its writing, the other issues that spring out at me are around models of care, workforce distribution and practices, the difference between a clinical perspective (dealing with the patient in front of you) versus the public/population health perspective, aged care, polypharmacy in the elderly, the changing demographics of the suburbs, the impact of social disadvantage and isolation, and euthanasia.
If you have the time and inclination, have a read, see what you think.
Maybe the article raises other issues for you altogether?