I’ve been surprised that most of the time when I mention I’m a designer working in healthcare, another designer usually pipes up that they too used to work in health. Their reflections, however, are almost always past tense.

In response to last week’s post, two friends on twitter (who both used to work in healthcare) responded with an interesting exchange I thought was worth sharing.


My original tweet:

@cassiemc (Cassie McDaniel):
*New blog post* The one thing healthcare needs to do today: Hire a freakin’ designer! http://t.co/LbPqAjKd #hcsm #healthcare #design

@ghostpressbed (Derek J. Kinsman):
@cassiemc @ajkandy @myzipcare @ShimCode @JosephCafazzo @pdurginbruce @BentoMiso having worked in healthcare as a designer I completely agree

@typodactyl (Sharlene King):
@ghostpressbed @cassiemc is the problem really hiring designers? in my exp, the problem was listening, respecting, and retaining us.

@ghostpressbed (Derek J. Kinsman):
@typodactyl @cassiemc it’s a bit of both.

@typodactyl (Sharlene King):
@ghostpressbed @cassiemc There’s an amazing amount of talent in healthcare right now, but talent is worthless without voice.

@typodactyl (Sharlene King):
@ghostpressbed @cassiemc And I definitely left healthcare feeling bitter about the lack of respect and ethics.

@ghostpressbed (Derek J. Kinsman):
@typodactyl @cassiemc me too. I left healthcare cause everyone treated me like the guy who knew how to use Photoshop.

@ghostpressbed (Derek J. Kinsman):
@typodactyl @cassiemc but, I still think of ways my current work can help out in healthcare.

@typodactyl (Sharlene King):
@ghostpressbed @cassiemc Yeah. Honestly, I would return to healthcare if I had more power to effect change.

@typodactyl (Sharlene King):
@ghostpressbed @cassiemc But healthcare is particularly slow to culturally evolve. Some changes you have to cycle out the old for the new.

@ghostpressbed (Derek J. Kinsman):
@typodactyl @cassiemc there’s definitely a lot of factors to deal with. But, that’s all part of the challenge.

@typodactyl (Sharlene King):
@ghostpressbed @cassiemc The answer: the three of us start a design-centered healthcare agency? #maybeserious


Is that the answer? Do we have to start from scratch in order to attract (and keep) designers in healthcare?