I’m certain that the entirety of this post will not fit in the character limit on IG so you’ll have to head over to my website to read it completely (don’t blame you if you don’t! 😉) Time to take a deep breath: 20,000 Instagram followers. When I was approaching 10,000 instagram followers, I was exchanging messages with Ashley Adkins, RN (@ashleyadkinsrn) about the magnitude of the amount of individuals following us on our journeys. She humbly said something to the likes of “my followers can fill a basketball arena”. I paused. stunned, had not thought of it that way. Powerful imagery right there.
You all, my audience, instagram followers are special people. A special brand of curious, ambitious, health-care professionals along the entire spectrum who are, like me, continuously trying to get better at your craft. You’re not here because I share a lavish lifestyle, take pictures of my meals, or wear cool scrubs while being Derek Zoolander levels of really really really ridiculously good looking (although @medelita hooked me up with an awesome white coat and I owe them a photo. Also, my wife is really really good looking). Nothing wrong with all those types of pages, they’re just not me.
You all have helped me stumble along as I battle my admittedly awful handwriting. Have helped me with my formatting. Have helped me by sharing my posts with other likeminded colleagues and friends. I can’t thank you enough. Following along on my page will guarantee you learn something just about every day, because I know I do. Many people would think, “heck, you’re a board certified Intensivist, you should know everything”. Well, I don’t, and here we are, posting about knowledge gaps of my own that I’m trying to fill in on my journey to become the best expert I possibly can me. You all are along for the ride and I could not have done it without you all and your word of mouth.
When I started the year I had been running my IG account for about 1.5 years and had 761 followers on 1/1/19. The issue wasn’t the number, the issue is that I felt I wasn’t doing anything to actually contribute to my field, to this medium. I felt I had a ton to offer but no idea how to do it. I set several New Years Resolutions for 2019, something I didn’t ever do, but I gave myself the lofty goal of reaching 10,000 followers. How? I had no clue.
It wasn’t until I went to a CME conference in March 2019 put together by Northwest Seminars where the wheels began to turn and I came up with the following idea: start posting journal articles. I was already doing plenty of that on my free time, why not use IG as my medium to share the articles I was already reading? During that conference I approached the organizers about potentially speaking at conferences for them. I already had several lectures in my back pocket, why not add a few more? They saw some of my work and agreed, fortunately. The engine on the formula 1 race car that is my mind fired up. It was been a crazy race since then and you all have been exposed to just a fraction of the articles I have actually read. Yes, I’m bragging about what a nerd I am, and that has gained me instagram followers.
To the copycats: keep copying and improve my format! To the people who ask me if I’m upset that people are copying my style I say I don’t really care. It’s flattering. Ultimately, the purpose of all this is to help you, and me in the researching process, take better care of patients. The more nerds out there like me exist, the better. There are a ton of hilarious talented meme creators out there who are all successful at their craft which means there’s room for others like me to teach. I also am not sure I even invented this. I certainly do not want to take credit for it. I don’t think I have an original idea in my head, but that’s a different story. Keep promoting evidence based practices (even though the evidence is always going to be fraught with limitations). Do it better than I do. I’d like to thank every single one of my instagram followers.
My next IG goal is to reach 100,000 followers by the end of 2020. To do that, I will continue to post almost daily. I do not see my journal reading slowing down as it is my responsibility to my patients. You will find so much value in what I post that you will have no choice but to share. You’ll want your friends and colleagues to be in on this. Perhaps a bit too much from my part? Perhaps, but I’d want everyone on my team to be on an equal playing field. Oh, and I still have my full time job that I love and is my main dedication professionally. It’s not time to take a break. It’s time to push harder and get better. Let’s get it!