The poison of “expert”

I am finding that I am continually challenged with the word “expert”. The other word I used was “early adopter”. When looking for physicians who are willing to help facilitate in the role of “Physician Facilitator (Demonstrator)”, I am constantly confronted with physicians who do not feel like they have enough to contribute. I often hear the words “I’m not an expert” – so I find myself saying, that is OK. You have something valuable to say – your peers want to hear your real stories.
I see that when I defined the workshop roles in the blog post: I was thoughtful enough to use the term demonstrator rather than “expert” or “early adopter” … I just need to get better at actually using the term when I speak – so that I am not scaring away those who would be good at presenting. I did get one more physician to agree to be a physician demonstrator (yay).

Finding: The use of technology adoption language, or the use of language that indicates expertise in technology causes issues with physician self-identification. In family medicine, the use and integration of technology is not a core competency – it is not seen as a critical skill for success in family medicine – as such, many people that use technology in interesting and innovative ways, do not see themselves as early adopters or experts. The language of technology adoption does not resonate with many family medicine physicians. To make the participation in the workshops in a leadership role, the terminology needed to be changes to be more descriptive of the role or to tone down the sense of expertise needed to fill the role. I am hoping the use of the term “demonstrator” would be more effective than “expert”.

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