For the first time in 13 years I attended a job interview. I had feedback after my interview which indicated that the panel had felt I was “too personal” in my manner and that the panel had wanted me to be more emphatic: to give crystallised answers to the complex questions asked.
It occurs to me that the two areas of feedback I received return to the use of language. This is an aspect of self.
I am proud of my self.
I am of the view that an effective medical practitioner should be true to himself. I prefer not to play-act a professional role. My view is that being true to oneself is important to healing. Others agree with me: Psychiatric Bulletin, August 2014: “Openness, transparency and candour”
Reflecting today, many months on from my interview, I am wondering if my experience presents another example of a cultural shift in the “professional” use of language?
At my interview I may not have been attune to the current language of healthcare. Equally possible, perhaps it was the interview panel that struggled to attune to my language that has developed in my wider reading of science, in medical humanities and in the arts.
Whatever may be the case, I am of the view that we must be careful in categorising language as “pathological”. This is because what may be determined to be “pathological” may not be the same for all people. I have come to appreciate that the cultures of Arts and Sciences, for example, may approach our use of language quite differently.