Drowning Out the Noise [A Career and Life Allegory]

A Man Lived by the Side of the Road
By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA, CMP™

The “Quiet” 

An old man lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs. He was hard of hearing, so he had no radio. He had trouble with his eyes, so he had no newspaper.

But, he sold really – really good hot dogs. He put up a sign on the highway telling how good they were. He stood by the side of the road and cried, “Buy a hot dog, mister.” And people bought. He increased his meat and bun orders and he bought a bigger stove to take care of his trade.

The “Noise”

Soon, his son came home from college to help him. But, then something happened. His son said, “Father, haven’t you been listening to the radio? There’s a big depression on. The international situation is terrible and the domestic situation is even worse.”

Whereupon the father thought, “Well, my son has been to college. He listens to the radio and reads the papers, so he ought to know.” So, the father cut down his bun order, took down his advertising signs, and no longer bothered to stand on the highway to sell hot dogs. His hot dog sales fell almost overnight. “You were right, son,” the father said to the boy. “We are certainly in the middle of a great depression.”

-Author Unknown


As a physician, professor or entrepreneur, how do you feel about this story? Does the managed care situation, PP-ACA and new healthcare reform focus, depress you? Do you feel alienated from your patients, profession or self?

What about you, financial advisors? Do layoffs in the industry affect your earning capacity? Or, does the market situation just hurt your self esteem? Which is worse; a real or psychologically negative impact?  What about failed mortgage derivative products, collapsed banks, and related ethical scandals? Demoralizing!

And so, are you an optimist or pessimist about life and career? Is it really “different this time?”


Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Thomas Jefferson and ADA Sentiment

A Book Review …  and More!

By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDS

I’m currently reading “American Sphinx – The Character of Thomas Jefferson” by Joseph J. Ellis (1998). According to Ellis, Jefferson was often accused of plagiarism – sometimes even for lifting quotes from his own work. I think if the gifted writer were technically guilty of such a crime, he arguably had forgotten the origin of the “stolen” ideas – much like a composer who unwittingly copies a catchy riff from an obscure song that emerges years after being devoured.

Answering Critics 

Ellis offers this as Jefferson’s standard answer to his critics:

“’Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing,’ he explained, he drew his ideas from ‘the harmonizing sentiments of the day, whether expressed in letters, printed essays or in the elementary books of pubic right, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney, etc.’”

We are what we eat.

Not Anonymous

On my good days, I like to compare myself with great people who successfully represented others’ interests in the same spirit as Hippocrates. Like Jefferson, I concentrate sentiment, but in looser wrapped packages. Even though I also cannot always claim authorship of my ideas, like Jefferson, I’m not anonymous.


Wake up, @ADANews. Did you think I was going to somehow disappear? It is probably discouraging to know that I can keep this up for years.

But I don’t think that is necessary. You will surrender soon, ADA, because you are defenseless. You’re policy of silence has you trapped.

Your bureaucracy is caving in on you. The only way out is to renew the ADA’s pledge to be transparent with members. This just has to be.

You can blame one unprofessional ADA member for your PR crisis, and I enthusiastically invite and cherish all blame as a badge of honor.

Yesterday I pointed out that my letter to the editor of the JADA that was never acknowledged suddenly became ME-P’s 8th most popular piece.

ME-P has 221,223 readers … and the JADA? My article had been dormant for months. Know what happened? I posted its link, like this:

Link: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2009/07/28/journal-of-the-american-dental-association-letter-to-the-editor/ 

I just looked at the article’s rank it popularity. It has climbed to #3. It’s not just me. You are being voted out right now, ADA leaders.


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Did you know that Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, ostensibly risks being discounted in today’s history books because scientists discovered he marked out “subjects” and replaced it with “citizens” in the Declaration? That’s petty. You should see some of the nouns, adjectives and verbs I reject in early drafts – sometimes all three derivatives of the same word.


It’s my opinion that it is Thomas Jefferson’s religious beliefs that’s keeping vocal conservative activists employed in a bad economy – not his alleged desire to be king. A few, loud, slow-thinkers also shop the lame argument that Obama isn’t a US citizen. Let’s move on, already. Regardless how one feels about the man, citizenship is simply a disingenuous dead-end argument. That’s what I think. But that’s an entirely different rant that will one day get a whole new class of disagreeable people pissed at me. Can’t wait.


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