Just because you DON’T understand it doesn’t mean it’s “too academic”

Someone commented that I am “too academic” in my work approach and “lack” industry perspective.

My reaction was one of more surprised than annoyed because I’ve been told on most occasions that my approach was too pragmatic (taking situations contextually and using the most cost-effective way to fix the underlying causation) resulting in lack of “fudge” to publish anything “sexy” – this was the case even when I was working in a hospital, way before I venture into adjunct teaching and research.

As a practising consultant, feedback is very important to me but I have learned over the years, the importance of identifying genuine feedback versus people talking bad about me because they feel intimated by my work.

Taking a hard look at the context reveals that the person has no real experience working IN health(care), be it in hospitals (or any healthcare facility), HealthTech or MedTech companies, or even in a consulting firm offering services in a related area. This person also have no academic or professional qualification in health(care), technology, health informatics or anything remotely related.

Instead, this person work “loosely” WITH us health(care) professionals (imagine a cashier working in a two star michelin restaurants, just because he works in an associated role doesn’t mean he knows how to run a restaurant nor make great food).

Of course, there is nothing wrong with working “loosely” with us, health(care) professionals can’t do everything by ourselves but what was puzzling was – why would this person feel intimated by my work? I’m a consultant and trainer, he is not (both in ability and reality) doing any of the stuff that I do and I don’t see myself doing anything of the stuff he is making a living on.

Nevertheless, I want to make it clear to the person, a very basic concept;

Just because you don’t understand the complexity and technical aspects of what I do / advocate / teach doesn’t mean I am “too academic”, it merely means you are not a real subject matter expert

(Don’t worry, it’s not your fault and I encourage you to attend the Mini-HI (Mini Health Informatician) so you can start talking sense to us)


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