Dr. Babb is about as selfless as they come. As a mother of 4, devoted wife, active community member, and primary care physician, we often wonder how she has enough time to churn out such thoughtful, deep content. Whatever her secret is, we sure hope she keeps it coming. Megan's dedication as a primary care physician transfers beautifully to text. She invites her readers under her wing as she confronts the hard-hitting injustices found in America's health care system. She's earnest, fact-driven, and personable—it's almost as if you can hear her voice as you read her stories.
To all the physicians in America, I am one too and I need you to know:
I see you.
I hear you.
To the Wachusett Emergency Physicians Group in Massachusetts who just days ago, have lost your contract to UMass without cause, I see you; I hear you.
Megan has been a creator on Vocal since July of 2019. Thanks to the compelling stories she creates and the way she uses Facebook to find her audiences, Megan’s gotten hundreds of thousands of reads on her stories and has seen her earnings spike. We asked her to share some of her advice to help you learn to do the same.
I am a Xennial and am pretty confident that you both are as well. Let me tell you why.
I remember dial-up internet but was too young to use it. Mario Typing was brand-new when taught in my elementary school. Pearl Jam, Nirvana (RIP Kurt Cobain), and Bush dominated TRL on MTV but pop stars like Brit-Brit were about to run them off the Billboard Charts. Nokia phones were all the rage and Tom, everyone’s first MySpace friend, became the most popular man in the country. Hollywood was about to embark on a much-needed female-centric revamp and the young actresses leading this effort gave birth to a new species: The Mean Girl. Based on your recent ad, (the one above), followed by the pathetic and impassive apology that would come shortly after, I would have to guess you were born between 1982-1984 because you both reek of first-generation Mean Girl.
Remember when you discovered you were going to be a parent? The moment you learned that inside you, was another life? Remember the incredible fear and excitement you felt all at the same time? All you worried about was whether or not you would be a good mother. Do you remember when?
As a physician, I will never get used to the eerie absence of sound upon death in the human body. Placing a stethoscope atop the chest of one who has passed is haunting. Where there was once lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub from the heart echoing within the chest, there is now silence. Where there were once the breezy whispers of air filling and emptying the lungs, there is now stillness. While sound is confirmation of life, absence of it, is confirmation of death.
As COVID numbers spike, scientists have identified another potentially fatal risk to America’s healthcare workers and to Black Americans known as the Karen. The Karen belongs to its own unique viral family that surfaced around seventy years ago. Since that time, it has silently multiplied at exponential rates. The Karen is erratic, unpredictable, and favors no particular environment, making it impossible to know where it lies. DNA analysis demonstrates in infected hosts an over-expression of the proteins responsible for hate, ignorance, and moral turpitude. Though scientists are hopeful for the development of a vaccination to eradicate it, they surmise this will not occur any time soon.
An Open Letter to Lady Gaga -
I am going to start this letter to you as I do all the other similar open letters I have written. I realize that the chance of you reading this is slim to none; however, I am discouraged by a statement you recently made, and I strongly feel a correction to this is necessary. Proud of the voice you have for women around the world, I never thought in a million years that I would be writing one of these to you, and for this, I am saddened.
The first time Dylan and I spoke in person, we were face to face but separated by thousands of miles. We had met two days prior to this when I received my first communication from her. Three weeks ago, after an essay I wrote was published detailing the truth of America’s broken healthcare system, I began receiving hundreds of emails from other healthcare workers all across the country recounting horror stories of maltreatment at the hands of the healthcare system. Dylan’s email was among them.
The other day while I walked to work, I deliberately slowed my pace to allow time for my left hand to lightly graze the brick wall I was passing. I watched as my fingers ebbed and flowed through every groove and imperfection. There was a familiarity to this. Perhaps it was the texture, perhaps the grit. Either way, memories emanated as I was no stranger to brick walls. Over the years as I pursued a career in medicine, my hands had gotten quite used to dismantling them.
I am a white woman. I grew up in a very well-to-do community wanting for nothing. My parents are very well educated. They also grew up in well-to-do communities. Neither they, myself, my siblings, nor my other relatives grew up in poverty or a culturally diverse region. I had every privilege one could hope for, which was a complete disadvantage in one single way: I grew up in a colorless world.
The anti-abortion movement in Washington makes me cringe. This is mainly for two reasons. One, as a human, I am absolute in a woman's right to choose. Two, as a physician, my education allows me to recognize the unintended consequences of advocating against this, and it so happens, this topic falls in my lane. Yet those who are trying to dictate a woman's right to choose are not physicians and, more positively, rarely women. The issue of woman's health rights, within the political arena, is not for a matter of personal opinion. Rather a place for discussion aimed to find policies that place women in control of their reproductive health. Instead, your version of a woman's right to choose is nothing more than a curtain of lies concealing misogynistic behaviors aimed at creating policies that place women out of the control of their reproductive health. By law, you are no more in control of a woman's arm or the words that come out of her mouth (like mine today) then you are of her uterus. Yet, you use your political position to push agendas that aim to place subjective opinion above objective scientific evidence. This is an unsafe way to operate Senator. Bad business, indeed.
One of the things that I love about science is how nurturing it is. It never judges. It allows for the complete inclusion of all interested parties as well as their ideas, whether good or bad. It even has space for these ideas to be fostered and explored by coming to life in the form of experimentation and hypotheses. When I think about science as it exists in our world, I can't help but feel the overwhelming maternal presence surrounding it. The essence of its being, its soul if you will, Mother Nature herself, and the wisdom she imparts to humans done so through the language of science.
While I recognize that I have a better chance of contracting dengue fever in my suburban city than there is of you actually reading this, I will try anyways. Here it goes.
I have four children, ages six, four, four, and two, and we live where pools are a common escape from the high summer heat. As a physician, I take swim safety very seriously, which is why when I witnessed my four-year-old daughter remove her Puddle Jumper without help, I came to realize just how dangerous these can be.
You died by suicide.
This morning I was rushed. I always feel rushed. I feel rushed by More.
In healthcare, More is this tangible thing like a fork or a spoon. It is creative, continually morphing into a new shape, disguising its true self when it is nothing more than a plague meant to turn physicians into machines, hoping to one day remove all of humanism from the incredibly delicate and difficult practice of medicine. Yesterday More was the number of patient visits being tracked. The day before this More took form as patient satisfaction scores. Last week More was the system reminding me of the hundreds of incomplete tasks that needed completion—if only there were thirty hours in the day I tell myself; if only I was a machine which never needed sleep. How dare of me to require such a thing.
An Open Letter to Sophia L Thomas
Whenever a new face steps into a healthcare leadership role, there is a hope that new life and positivity will fill the space another left behind. My wish for you was that you would put patient safety before an agenda to propagate misinformation about the role of physician’s advocacy in America's current healthcare crisis. However, I, unfortunately, was wrong.
Picture courtesy of Lenore Stutznegger and Norman Rainock (Norman Rainock Art Ca.)
COVID, the hallways are eerily empty because of you. At night, where there normally exists an air of calmness as patients sleep, the hospital walls that surround me instead convey a sense of uncertainty. It is palpable. It is heavy. It is unlike anything I have ever encountered as a physician. Perhaps this is because deep down in places where fear and dread reside, we know you are there watching and studying our patterns of behavior. All the while, you silently spread yourself at exponential rates, knowing that our testing capabilities, while ever-growing, still fail to keep up with you. For this, you mock us. You are learning the truth about the American healthcare system as it stands. On the outside we are strong, with sophisticated buildings, fancy technology, and state-of-the-art equipment. To nearly any onlooker we appear to be thriving, at the top of our game. Yet you aren’t fooled by this; no, not at all because you have already penetrated these walls, exposing the hidden prison behind the shiny facade of our healthcare system.
I have updated the story below with this blog:
CDC Documents Prove Billy Meier Right…AGAIN
In it I link to the article by the very courageous Dr. Megan Babb that was also published on VOCAL. We were in contact this morning and I have shared additional sources with her.