3 Ted Talks for the Young Professional


          We all have grown in our own ways in 2017.  For me, this past year, my main focus was shouting up that voice that I'm never good enough.  I'm a virgo, and a doctor: with all three of those factors on my side I was bound to be constantly under self-evaluation and self-shaming.  What can I say, I'm a perfectionist dammit! But this past year, I wanted to prove to myself that I can still be a perfectionist, while making mistakes, and offer myself motivation and constructive reflection, rather than low self-esteem from inner blaming.  Whenever I would have a disappointing day or a callous call, I learned to resort to motivating myself, vs. questioning my place in this ever-demanding field.  I mean, the outside pressure from the medical field is enough, no need to keep beating myself up!

          This led me to igniting my new found love for TED talks, online videos of lectures featuring innovation and inspiration.  Although the question of being good enough still pops up in my mind from time to time, it now appears less often, and not so damn loud.  

          Below are the TED talks that made me feel more motivated to keep going after trying times, and the notes I took while watching each of them and applying it to my personal field: medicine.   Through it all I learned how to be more calm during emergencies, how to improve my checkouts, handle the never-ending feedback, and how to be a better leader to my lower levels.  

Disclaimer: You DON'T have to go through all of these in a day or all at once! I sure didn't! I was focused on bettering myself as a whole this past year, so it took some time.  Rome wasn't built in a day!

How to Speak Up for Yourself:

          This vid motivated me to continue learning, which can be pretty trying from day to day in residency.  The more knowledge about a disease you have, the more power you have to negotiate a patient’s plan.  If you don’t have much knowledge, you don’t have much power; however, if you don’t have much power, you can either: speak up and get punished, or stay silent and stay unnoticed.  I choose to speak up now, it is the only way I will learn.  

1. (7:10): "When I take your perspective, and I think about what you really want, you're more likely to give me what I really want."

          -- Look at presenting the patient plans from the attending’s perspective.  If you present the plan how they want the patient to be treated, you'll get less pushback.  

2. (8:10): "We particularly get so focused in a crisis." 

          -- Stay focused on the patient when they are emergent.  Easier said than done.

3. (9:15) "My research shows that when you give people a choice among options, it lowers their defenses, and they're more likely to accept your offer." 

          -- Give options when presenting patient plans instead of just one if you are unsure.

4. (12:15): "One way we can appear as an expert is to have passion."

          -- Have passion when describing plans, regardless if you’re unsure

5. (13:45): "The lighter your touch, the better you become at improving and enriching your performance."

          -- Have more "finesse" in surgery.

What I Learned from 100 days of Rejection:

          This vid helped me to withstand the pain from feedback from attendings my upper levels, and myself. 

1. (4:30): "But then I thought, 'Hey, would Bill Gates quit after a simple investment rejection?' "

          -- You cannot let the fear of the rejection and embarrassment that you experience as a resident stop you from trying your hardest to care for patients and presenting them at board checkout.

2. (7:50): "So this is where rejection happened, and I could have run, but I stayed."

          -- If your plan is rejected, remain desensitized to the pain of rejection/embarrassment, and try to sell it more, stand strong behind it.

3. (9:50): "I found out that I could turn a "no" into a "yes", and the magic word is "why?"

          -- If you feel that your plan differs from your attending or your upper level, don't be afraid to ask why.  Sometimes we feel that if we ask "why" in medicine, we will get the typical "Well, you should know why" response.  But remember from the last video, you can either speak up, and get noticed for your passion and actually learn, or you can stay silent, go unnoticed, and not improve.

          -- If your lower level presents a plan to you that you don't agree with, ask "why?" first, instead of rejecting them.  You didn't like to feel this way, so remember to not make others feel this way either.

4. (12:30): "I learned that if I mention some doubt that people might have before I asked a question, I gained their trust." 

          -- If you notice doubt on the attending's face when you are presenting a plan, mention it and discuss why they have it.

Are you a Giver or a Taker?

          This vid inspired me to be a better leader to my patients and to those residents following me; not that I'm a jerk to them, but we can always strive to be better!

1. (2:20): "In medical school, the lowest grades belonged to the students who most strongly agree with phrases like, 'I love helping others.' ... But there's a twist here...givers actually make their organizations better."

          -- The more generous you are to those around you and to your patients, the less costs later.  Patients will open up more, you'll know more about them than others, sometimes things such as their medical history that could save their life.

2. (5:15): "Protect your givers from burnout." and (6:20): "Encourage help seeking as the norm, where people ask a lot."

          -- Once you are the chief of your team, remember to encourage a healthy working environment, which leads to efficiency.

3. (8:00): "The negative impact of a taker on a culture, is usually double to triple the positive impact of the giver."

          -- Teach your lower levels what "not to do" or how "not to act" from the negative medical staff (this includes everyone: nurses, attendings, and residents).  This makes you a better health care provider as well.

4. (11:15) "Disagreeable givers are the ones that give the critical feedback that no one wants to hear, but that everyone needs to hear."

          -- Don't be afraid to give feedback to lower levels; being on someone's side and wanting them to be better physicians sometimes telling them things they don't want to hear.

          I want those behind to me to know that feeling doesn't go away, and it's ok to feel that way, but I hope you choose to use that doubt as the steam to power your drive forward.  Remember, growth is unsure process! Here's to hoping that these vids help some of my fellow colleagues, whether in medicine, or in any profession, silence that self-doubt.  

Andrea Alexander4 Comments