Health 2.0 – Think Beyond the Pill
This has been a year of unexpected events. Unsurprisingly, that’s affected what I write here. (See the Interesting Times series.) It’s been a year of unusual posts. This is another. Here, I try to explain what I’m doing in my job search and why.
I’ve always believed that doing a job well meant aiming to put yourself out of a job: to provide enough, and set things up well enough, that it can all eventually go on its own. It’s normally an unreachable goal, but mission statements are really just unreachable goals, aren’t they?
For a healthcare company, a mission like that would mean taking care of patients so well that they wouldn’t need the products the company manufactures.
Out of that belief comes my belief in the importance of Health 2.0. Health 2.0 is a burgeoning movement, and I think at this point the term means different things to different people. I’ll clumsily try to explain what it means to me.
The Happiness Project’s Gretchen Rubin recently talked about “do what you love and then your friends hire you”. That’s one of those things it’s easy to dismiss as flip – but I do believe it. If you do work on something you love – something you want to talk about whether or not you’re getting paid – you’re going to be good at it. You just are. Your passion will shine through like Christmas lights on a foggy night.
I’ve grown up in the healthcare industry. I started as a PR intern when I was 19. From what I see, too many people still want to believe that crossing their fingers for massive corporations to pop out small-molecule blockbusters is still a functional industry model. But we have to figure out how to actually become healthcare companies – how to demonstrably care for patients’ health, but really, how to help them learn how to care for their own health. To do that productively and profitably. That’s what Health 2.0 encapsulates for me. We have to “think beyond the pill,” take advantage of the incalculable data we can now gather, and figure out how to make people healthier.
I think I know where my heart and my talents lie. What I love doing is what I’m good at doing. I learn complicated things fast and translate them to make them resonate and engage people. I figure out who is where and how to talk to them. I plan and orchestrate. I have a huge passion for digital and social media and I know I’m at my best if the work includes that. I’m a writer at core. That’s where I see myself best able to help this mission. I’m not sure whether digital content marketing or corporate communications is the better name for the bucket I belong in, but that’s the best summary of myself I’ve been able to come up with.
It’s scary to put this out there because I realize in doing so that I’m ruffling some feathers and taking myself out of some races. But I believe in it. This is what we have to focus on if this industry is going to stay viable, and it’s what we have to do to be right. We have to stop playing symptom whack-a-mole and make a difference.