Cancel Me

By Arthur Lazarus, MD, MBA*

Cancel me
Go ahead
Cancel me
Academics despise my remarks
Misinterpreted just like Karl Marx

Cancel me
Go ahead
Cancel me
Call me Republican, call me Democrat
Register me a scientific zealot

Cancel me
Go ahead
Cancel me
My intention was to start a debate
What resulted were claims of hate

Cancel me
Go ahead
Cancel me
My comments (out of context) appeared to condemn
Apparently, I’ve lost the right to say them

Cancel me
Go ahead
Cancel me
You’ve won the satisfaction
Of demanding a retraction (lest I face sanction)

Cancel me
Go ahead
Cancel me
Certainly, you’ve seen my flaws
Am I not allowed to have a cause?

Cancel me
Go ahead
Cancel me
My ideas were rather novel
Perhaps they caused you to unravel?

Cancel me
Go ahead
Cancel me
Experts can (and do) disagree in good faith
But your personal attacks are beginning to chafe

Cancel me
Go ahead
Cancel me
No doubt I have a different point of view
Who are you to say I do not have clue?

Cancel me
Go ahead
Cancel me
Once I was a pioneer
Now my colleagues mock me, in unison they jeer

Go ahead
Cancel me
Go ahead
I’ve provided counsel for the defense
The facts you seek are not in evidence

Cancel me
Go ahead
Cancel me
Medicine has always been my dominion
I’ve been tried in the court of public opinion

Cancel me
Go ahead
Cancel me
I have the means to better human health
Why refuse my gesture of inestimable wealth?

Cancel me
Go ahead
Cancel me
First, do no harm
Second, sound the alarm

Cancel me
Go ahead
Cancel me
I’ve lived a noble doctor’s life
What remains is sorrow and strife

Cancel me
Go ahead
Cancel me
My practice like a towering sculpture
Toppled by the cancel culture

*Author Bio: Dr. Lazarus resides in Charlotte, North Carolina and is Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has over 40 years’ experience working in health care systems, including academic medical centers, health insurance companies, and the pharmaceutical industry. His career has exposed him to many different perspectives of medical treatment viewed through the broad lens of population health. Dr. Lazarus has impacted contemporary practice through extensive speaking, writing, and traveling – his essays have appeared in Medium, KevinMD, MedPage Today and Doximity, where he is currently a Luminary Fellow. Dr. Lazarus is an advocate for physician wellness and leadership and for lending a voice to stigmatized and marginalized clinicians, trainees and patients everywhere. “Cancel Me” was written from the perspective of the many patients he has treated, including physicians, who have felt their experiences have been negated by mainstream society or misunderstood by the medical profession. email: artlazarus6@gmail.com

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