Beware of Loud Voices

Our society has conditioned us to equate loud voices with power, inferring that those who are quiet and restrained are weaker. While this isn't something I subscribe to, it's a pervasive belief that distorts conversation, so I think it's worth talking about.

Obviously as a woman you're not supposed to assert yourself, it's unladylike. But it's also a problem for the non alpha type male who is seen to be inferior. Or the loud but considered man who gets painted as being dominant and shallow. But that's not what I want to write about today.

What concerns me is how closely it's linked to the populist approach. Not just in global politics, but other forums as well. Take this piece in AJP today and tell me it doesn't smack of a typical authoritarian populism. It's a classic insecurity narrative. I'll break it down for you the way I see it...

1. Have a loud, brash spokesperson, probably make, who doesn't care if he offends people because that's part of his 'charm'. Call signs like "I don't care [what they think" and "get over it" 2. Place the group you're 'representing' as the underdog. The downtrodden.The silent majority. "There is a lack of understanding and lack of respect for what we do". "We're not a part of it". "Subservient". "Second tier". 3. Give the enemy a name. Paint them as the oppressor. "It's all about the GPs". "Why do physicians have patients and pharmacists have customers". 4. Have the spokesperson position themselves as an authority on the matters at hand. "His doctor colleagues have to accept that". "Sometimes I let the cardiologist touch the patient a little bit if I'm in a good mood, because it's my patient".

Hmmmmmmm. No thanks.

Now I'm not going to say that there's no merit in anything he says about his work in cardiology clinics etc but I don't think there's any value in this type of narrative. It places doctors as the enemy and patients (also known as the people for whom this is all about) as a commodity. None of this helps us work together to achieve better outcomes.

It is possible to act in service to others without being subservient. Some may even say its the very essence of our role as a Pharmacist, and that it's something to be proud of.