Welcome back to another episode of the MedEdWell podcast. Helping those in medicine take the next step in their wellness, by using education around wellness, to advance things in medicine for all of us. So whether you’re a physician, or medical student, a nurse practitioner, or a PA, or someone else, I hope this really encourages you today.
And I’m so thankful to all of you who have been listening, for giving input for subscribing and sharing these episodes. I can’t wait to dive in to help you take that next step in your wellness journey today.
So today, we’re gonna be talking about how you and your unique experiences really matter. Or how you show up and caring for patients.
Your unique gifts, your talents, the things that you’ve experienced, the things that you’re interested in, these all matter.
You are a unique individual, a product of all that you’ve learned, experienced and been through. And that uniquely enables you to connect with others as you care for them. I heard a quote recently, someone said that it’s not what you do, it’s who you are. That really resonated with me as I thought about it wasn’t in a medical context. But I just wanted to bring that to you today. Because if you are maybe dealing with some impostor syndrome, like, I can’t do this, because of whatever story that may be telling yourself that I tell myself that you are uniquely suited and right where you’re supposed to be, to be able to care for your patients, and your community. Maybe you’re not dealing with the impostor syndrome so much, but maybe you’ve gotten to the point where going through the motions of showing up doing your thing and going home, it’s become more of a job. And just rekindling that, that passion, that desire to help others to care for them. Maybe that’s missing. And so I just want you to remember that there is no one else like you out there, who is able to do what you do, and the way that you do it.
So today, we’re going to cover four different ways that you are uniquely prepared to be able to care for your patients, as only you can. The first is your educational background. So for me, I was a physics major, and pre med. People have asked me about the other like you did physics, and then went to medical school. Yeah. I really enjoyed physics in high school. I enjoyed math and science. And it was just fun to see how the world worked, and how using math and the equations to really understand more how that was going on. I went to a small college and really had the opportunity to interact with my professors to get the mentoring and the feedback. This really uniquely prepared me to be a doctor. I was able to apply what I have learned as a physics major to really engage with especially respiratory and cardiovascular physiology, and pathophysiology. It’s just been really fun to see how the different things that I learned as a physics major, not only the science, but also the how to think about problems not to think outside the box.
Given even after my junior year, in undergrad I had the opportunity to do a summer research internship. And I went to this lab was at a larger university and my supervisor he said to do is use this one program With the little bit of coding, and I said, Yeah, I had used it in lab before. But I didn’t have the level of skill that he thought I did. And so when he provided me some code, I took a look at it as I was supposed to be processing these MRI data files, so that I could characterize the composition of the coronary artery cadaver segments that we were evaluating. So I had these data files. And I didn’t really know how to get an image out of it much less to be able to characterize what was going on there. And yet, when he got some code from his colleague, and gave it to me, I had to figure it out. And I did many, many searches on the internet and much trial and error, but eventually, I was able to get something out of it. And this was really instrumental in helping me see that, even if I don’t know, I can ask for help, I can look things up, and I can figure out how to move forward. Which has really served me in medicine, when sometimes there’s just not clear cut answers. And pushing and asking for help asking questions researching, it can really help move things forward. And that’s what I my patients uniquely need in that situation.
So first, there’s my educational background. And this may be similar for you, where your major or something else really prepares you for what you’re doing. Now. It may be that you’ve had some struggles, that you’ve learned to overcome them, you didn’t have the support, or the schools that maybe looking back you thought you needed or that they held you back, but you have made it to where you are today, because of what you’ve been through. And rather than seeing some of those things as just a hindrance, or the challenge, they can be opportunities for you to say this is what I learned from that. Or this is how even in the midst of that, I’ve been able to move forward and to get to where I am today, all on my own because we can’t do things all on our own. Ultimately, somebody or something helped us out. So that can be an example to the patients, when I have patients in clinic that have struggled with their grades, or they have these interests, and they don’t know if they could go on and do something in medicine. Whatever they want to do. It’s an opportunity to say, you are learning skills now, that can really help you.
So in looking at how you are uniquely prepared to show up for your patients, first we looked at educational background. Secondly, it’s your unique personality that you bring to being a physician, or someone who cares for them. So I am a little bit quirky, if you haven’t noticed that yet. Go back and listen to a few of the other episodes. And I enjoy connecting with my patients. I enjoy using humor, especially competing in children at various levels, have their development, different ages and caring for them and for their parents. Sometimes they come in to the clinic and they are really nervous. Sometimes they’re just looking at me looking back at their parents and wondering, Am I going to get shots today? Now, it’s unfortunate and difficult plan. Families will promise them that they’re not getting shots. It’s like well, like actually I would really recommend them and you’re going to need them for school. So sometimes, then using some humor and some jokes to help distract them for saying Did you have any jokes that you brought with you? All right, you didn’t bring any. Sorry, you’re stuck with mine. And it might be that I will compliment them on their shirt or whatever superhero they have on their shirt. And then I go look for the superhero, the dinosaurs, the Princess Leia, check their years or something like that.
And you may have your own ways of connecting with patients, whether that’s asking them about a particular sports team or particular hobby or just getting to know them. You bring your own unique, own unique personality to this opportunity to meet people where they are being your unique personality. There’s only one view. And this is a great opportunity to say,
medicine is so much more than just checking the boxes. It’s so much more than just getting people in and out. So that we can say we’ve cared for this many patients and met the expectations and done this for our schedule. It’s an opportunity to say, How can I help this person? Their own unique person, and me being my own unique person? How can we connect and help to advance their health. I’m also an introvert. I’ve certainly grown through doing this podcast and doing videos as well. You can watch this on YouTube if if you’re interested and then seeing me and my smiling face. But I’ve definitely grown in that confidence. And yet, I’m still an introvert, I still enjoy the quiet evening, reading a book, planning things. But not necessarily all the noise and other things that go along with natural part of life, it’s just part of what I need, I’m having some downtime. And so knowing that is really helpful when I think about my day in clinical medicine, I’m around people, I enjoy connecting with them. But it may be that I really need to take 10 minutes, hopefully more at at lunch to just have some time alone. I still connect with colleagues at lunch from time to time, but sometimes having a few minutes to just listen to some music to read a book. Just sit there with my thoughts. It’s great. And it helps me recharge.
So as we think about how you are uniquely suited to care for your patients, because of how you’re wired. First, we looked at educational background, your unique personality. And then thirdly, the skills and passions and hobbies that you have, can really shape how you show up for your practice of medicine.
So for me, a few of the things that I am passionate about are some of the tech and informatics things. Being able to help my colleagues and myself but being able to share different things about how the medical records work, and how they can best implement them to help take great care of patients. And to finish charting faster, so that they can go home for what matters most of them is a passion of mine, not only in my coaching, but also in my clinical practice being able to help my colleagues do this. And so not everyone has this passion. But I latching on to what matters to me, I’m able to help others further their goals.
Maybe you are really engaged with creating community partnerships, to help patients with diabetes find whatever they’re looking for the supplies the rights to appointments, getting their care coordinated. That could be any number of things. Some of the social drivers of health and food insecurity of connecting families with parenting classes. The list goes on but it’s only limited by how we show up and do our unique part. To say this is what I’m passionate about. This is what my patients are going through and how I want to show up and make a difference. So one of the ways that it’s important for me to show up in that space is I’m really passionate about global health and caring for patients from all sorts of diverse backgrounds from all over the world. And it’s something that I love to do. I enjoy speaking Spanish almost every day in the clinic. And I have an opportunity to do that through being a US Citizenship and Immigration Services civil surgeon, where I’m able to complete their patients immigration physicals, for those who are my patients, as either children or young adults 21. Unfortunately, the website will include just my name and my clinic address. And so it means that I get some requests from adults that I have to politely decline being out of my scope of practice. But it’s a great opportunity for me to be able to engage with patients to help them in a way that is uniquely suited to me. And the only one and like clinic system that currently has that active designation. But it’s been cool to just share about what my passion is, and to hear that others have either done that before and need to get that reactivated. And it’s just a means of encouraging my colleagues, and providing that service to my patients. So it’s not just those skills and passions, about work things. But it’s also some of the hobbies. And this kind of goes back to that unique personality. But just the different things that I’m excited about engaged with. Those just provide other connection points. For me, I enjoy playing music. I played soccer in high school, talking about sports. So with the World Cup recently, I was able to ask patients, who’s your favorite soccer player or Which team do you think’s gonna win or a couple of questions like that, that just really made it fun, made it a point of connection and an opportunity to take my unique personality, and to connect with their unique personality and just be to build that human connection. What does that for you is that you enjoy a particular hobby or activity, you say, I enjoy going for bike rides are ways to be active as you brainstorm with your patients, of how they can be more active, or what they’re already doing that you can encourage them, and it’ll look different for all of us. But I just want you to take a moment and realize that it’s not just the medicine. It’s these other things that allow patients to feel like you are taking care of them, that you know them and that they can connect with you. Even if it’s something different, or they know that you are willing to share a little bit about you and what matters to you. And it can be sharing whatever you want. It doesn’t have to be something so personal, that just having those connection points can really go a long ways to increasing their engagement, their own health care.
So as we think about how you are uniquely wired, we had the educational background, your unique personality, and your skills, passions and hobbies. But for us, and I think probably most importantly, is looking at your life experience.
The things that you’ve been through beyond just your educational background that uniquely enable you to connect with and to be an example for and just say I understand a little bit what maybe you’ve been going through.
Now this is not saying that empathy is about saying I understand exactly what you’re going through when I haven’t walked that journey. But it’s saying that there are things about what you’ve been through that can help encourage others as they see that. Yeah, you’ve experienced some hard things to or different challenges whether that’s Yeah, any number of things. For me, I’ve faced different challenges from my patients or my colleagues. I moved one state over my life. And many of my patients have moved. continents have just not lived the same experience. But for me, I’ve been through some really hard things. Personally, as you’ve heard on on the podcast before I, my wife and I lost twins, miscarriage 19 weeks, and it was really hard and grief is hard. It’s still hard, even four years, and yet that experience and seeing the value of community coming around me, and encouraging me and just walking with me and saying, grief is hard. I now have new sensitivity and empathy for patients not only seeing newborns, whose mom’s charts indicate that, yeah, maybe they have had a prior loss. But it’s also saying, when I hear patients say, oh, it’s the stress and the anxiety is related to the anniversary of, of losing a loved one. Said, I’m so sorry for your loss. G
rief was really hard. Or there are no words. I’m so sorry. So, for me, my experience with grief has shaped how I show up for my patients, how I slow down and really listen in a different way. Especially when they start sharing. Some of these are in traumatic things. And to say that, I don’t have any words, for I’m so sorry. Those actually express a certain amount of I’m here with you kind of sentiment, rather than just saying, oh, yeah, I understand because I went through something. Like, I don’t understand what it’s like to move continents in the middle of middle school. Yeah, that would be really challenging in a way that I personally haven’t lived that experience.
So another way for me that my experience has prepared me for how I show up, both with my patients and with my colleagues is that eight months out of residency, I went through burnout.
I was so exhausted, bringing notes home, staying late, coming in early.
It was just, it was a lot. And I know that there are many in medicine who have walked a similar journey. Yours may be different than mine. If that’s something you’ve been through, and
it’s hard. And I just want you to know that even if I haven’t watched your journey
I care about my colleagues, I care about you. And I’m so thankful that you are here listening and engaging with these topics because yeah, like this whole episode is about being a whole unique individual and we need you. We need you to be you and caring for patients and for the community, your family, or friends, for yourself. And so, regardless of how this this hits you now, I want you to know that you’re not alone.
So, my experience with burnout has really shaped how I check in on colleagues of how I I am passionate about doing this podcast about coaching about helping others in medicine. So as we look back on today’s episode, I want you to consider and to think about a few things. I want you to consider, how, how are you today? How are you right? Where you’re supposed to be? And how could that be even more true? How can you connect with your purpose in caring for others? If you really leaned into that a little bit more? If you took a moment to engage with these different points to say, how is my educational background, uniquely prepared me? For what I’m doing right now? How does my personality affect? How do my skills, passions and hobbies? And how does my life experience affect how I show up as a physician, as a medical professional, as a human being who is caring for others? Then I want you to think about how does this make a difference for your patient care right now. And who might you be able to encourage either a colleague, or a trainee, a student, resident or fellow that comes and works with
you, in the next week or two? I want you to take a moment to write something down, you can hit pause. But write something down of how you are going to implement this,
of how this really is able to help you connect to your why your big priorities, why you went into medicine, why you stayed in medicine, why you are still doing what you’re doing. Because ultimately, that’s what’s going to be able to fuel you in your work. Just showing up and working harder and doing all the things. It gets exhausting. And having that deep motivation is able to help me move forward to me to keep doing what I’m doing. Because I look at why am I really here? Why am I doing this? And what is uniquely prepared me to get to this point. So I’d encourage you to do that today. And just wanted to say that I’m so thankful that you are here with me. For this episode, I think it’s a really special episode to be able to say you matter, your patients matter and how you are able to uniquely show up for them. That matters. So, as we wrap up, I wanted to thank you for listening, or subscribing and for sharing these episodes. If you haven’t done that yet, I’ve encouraged you to think of one colleague, one trainee that you might be able to share this episode with.
And then if you liked the podcast, and you haven’t left a review yet, I’d encourage you to go on your podcast player and, and leave a review. It really helps get the word out as people are able to hear about it and to find out how this can really make a difference for them.
And I also want to encourage you, if you haven’t already, to get your free guide on how to help you finish charting faster, which you can find at mededwell.com/efficiency Guide. I’m really excited to hear how this is able to help others take that next step of getting their trading done for what matters most of them. So I hope you come back next week and I’m so thankful that you’ve been here with me today. So thankful for you. And thanks for all that you do. Have a great day