Disclaimer: This post is from GomerBlog, a satirical site about healthcare.
PITTSBURGH — Sometimes it’s better to acknowledge one’s own shortcomings and move on. And that is why we’re saluting a hero, internist Keisha Boots, MD, for summoning the strength and courage to do something all of us have always wanted to do.
Inspired by organizational and tidying guru Marie Kondo, who has taken the world by storm with her method of only keeping things that “spark joy” and throwing out the rest, Boots tossed away a 2-foot tall stack of unread New England Journal of Medicine issues sitting in the corner of her office after binge watching Kondo’s latest Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
“Actually, maybe I’ll hold onto this one issue — it sparks joy for me,” Boots said.
Most physicians who have a subscription to the Journal go through the same motions: briefly scan the contents of the latest issue when it appears in the mail, stack it with the others, confident they’ll one day get to it, but then that day never comes. Whereas the rest of us mortals live in a farce, hanging onto those journals and believing we will actually read them, Boots has confronted reality head-on.
“There’s no way in hell I’m reading these!” she scoffed.
Then she pulled out a large red snow shovel and started scooping up the issues by the dozens, tossing them into the recycling bin, each flick of the wrist accompanied by the largest sigh of relief. “You always want to bend with your knees, not your back,” Boots said, describing the proper technique on how to dispose of medical journals without hurting your back.
As it stands, no one has ever read an issue of the New England Journal of Medicine completely from front to back, and that includes the best-selling 2017 swimsuit edition featuring Kate Upton.
When reached for comment, family medicine physician, Carrie Lowe, MD, praised Boots and said she hopes to one day be just as brave. “Just when I’m about to throw away an issue, there’s this part of me that feels guilty, that I should read at least one article,” says Lowe. “So I hold onto the issue. And never read it. And that’s how the stack builds. We all have stacks. I don’t have it in me to throw them away. But Keisha did. And I really admire that.”
Tomorrow, Boots plans to attack the stack of Annals of Internal Medicine issues in the other corner of her office.