The beauty of e-mail is you can watch conversations unfold over time (as opposed to Facebook where conversations are gone in 2 minutes). Some of my colleagues are trying to describe who Family Physicians are for a broader audience in 100 words or less. To be honest, it is unclear who this audience is and why they want to know what I do so I haven’t been that engaged in the exercise. I got sucked in for a brief period this morning so went back to the beginning of the conversation to get my bearings back.
100 words are not a lot to describe anything. It is an elevator pitch. In other words, what the group is trying to do is put together a set of ideas that could be used by me for this:
Me: “Hold that elevator”
Bill Gates: “You look like a smart man who could use some money. I have a lot of money. While we ride up to the 40th floor, tell me what you do and how a lot of money would change that.”
Me, pulling out a piece of paper with 100 words on it,”Well…”
The format is typically: For (target customer) who has (customer need), (product name) is a (market category) that (one key benefit) unlike (the competition). The product (unique differentiators).
The elevator pitches that are being sent around now all focus on the key benefit. “Family Physicians are…” We are either are the best thing since sliced bread or (in something termed the foil position) we are the teats on the boar of healthcare. I would suggest a different format. Here is my pass at what I would tell Bill:
We have convinced Americans that, once broken, modern medicine can rebuild them better than new. Americans destroy themselves with tobacco and other poisons. America destroys its own with unhealthy societal choices such as our firearm policies. Our medical-industrial complex has taken advantage of goodwill engendered by the introduction of antibiotics and relatively safe surgery and is rapidly depleting our national treasure under the guise of “health care.” We must retool the entire system. Family physicians, as a consequence of their generalist training and mindset, are the least co-opted physicians in the current system. If we must use physicians, give me money to train generalist physicians such as FPs in team based, patient centered care focused on rational resource utilization and let’s use them to reformat the entire delivery system, as the ACA allows us to do.
Oh, well, 140 words…maybe he’ll hold the door…