Do You Want to Write for the WAVE?

No, would have been my answer 20 years ago.  I had “Doctor’s” handwriting hardwired before I finished elementary school.  Writing in college was painful with so many typing errors to erase.  As a physician, I was too busy taking care of patients and attending hospital meetings. However, over time, I began writing short articles for patient education on various topics, since more of our best outcomes occur when we empower our patients to better self-care.  

In the early 90’s a forward-thinking DON at my CCRC began forwarding information to me about CAMDA (CALTCM since 2001) and AMDA, The Society of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.  I began attending their meetings and both became my medical home, with a flat leadership hierarchy and helpful ideas about how to be a better physician, Medical Director, and teacher.  The development of “word processors” eliminated the frustration of typing errors and permitted easy rearrangement and insertion of helpful ideas.  

In about 2010, Dr. Louise Aronson, a UCSF Geriatric Professor, gave a keynote presentation for AMDA on the “Joy of Writing” and how that was becoming a part of their training of medical students and house staff.  With this encouragement, I began writing articles for our CALTCM quarterly newsletter, which in about 2012 evolved to become our bimonthly WAVE.  I must admit it has been quite a journey, but I agree with Louise that writing about what’s important to you is very valuable, even if no one else reads it.  From a teaching perspective, I find my writing is much more powerful than my speaking.  The WAVE editorial community has been very supportive throughout this journey.  

Most of my articles come from my experiences caring for patients in the hospice and CCRC settings where I still have some direct patient contact.  Our area of medicine has no shortage of problems from the patient and provider perspective.  Journal articles, Podcasts, tool kits, and webinars provide ideas that may address some of these problems and are worth sharing.  

At the WAVE we welcome your perspective and thoughts on how we can improve the care provided by our facilities for our residents, families, and staff.  In general, we prefer articles that are less than 250 words, but welcome attachments or links to other sources of information.  Articles are submitted to our executive director, Barbara Hulz, at:  [email protected].  Our committee reviews them, suggests edits for the writer to consider, and then prioritizes them for a future WAVE.  

Besides authors of articles, our committee welcomes members who want to become a part of our editorial board.  We meet virtually the first Wednesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. for about 30 minutes, and subsequently review submitted articles in google docs and then the draft of each WAVE.  Let Barbara know of your interest at the above email.  

Is it time for you to say “Yes” to writing for the WAVE?

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