Earl Nightingale once said many years ago that one hour per day of study in your chosen field was all it takes. One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do. I agree with full absolute that studying on one’s off time is crucial to becoming an expert in a field, but what if there is more to it than just studying? To become an expert in your field, one must become fully educated, forever curious, and reflect on past experiences.
In today’s society, someone in the medical field is expected to know the solution to a patient’s problem to the fullest extent. Registered Nurses, CNAs, LPNs, and Doctors are expected to be in an elite group that has no standard only because the standard needs to be no less than 100%.
So, for studies in the medical field, education must be never a ending cycle of learning because new discoveries are found every day. An accurate diagnosis or correct procedure to save a life only happens when you combine past, current, and new knowledge. The best ways to stay up to date is to listen to the world’s finest minds regularly from TED talks, 99U, and Talks at Google. The internet is a powerful tool for education like online courses from Udemy, Khan Academy, and Coursera or download audiobooks or podcasts while driving to and from work.
Doctor Ranjana Srivastava, an oncologist and author of What It Takes to Be a Doctor, says in an article, What shouldn’t become lost is the essence of a career in medicine, which is service to humanity. This might sound lofty but a belief in service is the most potent inoculation we have against the disillusionment, burnout and distress that prevails in today’s medicine. Getting into medical school is important but surviving the career beyond that and becoming a top tier, expert takes curiosity, empathy, and reflection (SOMETHING). The word curiosity is an extremely powerful word which draws a fine line that separates the human race into two groups: the tired and the hungry. A person who brings curiosity into the workplace reflects how a pacient is going to be treated. That person wants and needs to figure out the solution in order to fix the problem. While the other is just going through the motions with a patcient, realizing that it is only Taco Tuesday with three more full work days before the weekend. Which pacient will receive the absolute best care for their needs when someone’s life might me on the line? The one who has drive, passion, empathy, curiosity, and love or the one who is burned out, has given up, lost, and hopeless.
Reflecting helps build qualities within you like discipline, strength, perseverance, willpower, tools you would not have if you had not pursued reflection on your own. It molds a person into a better, updated human being by pausing and looking back at personal victories and defeats. Remember and celebrate the victory days but more importantly, learn and morn from the losses. Reflecting is a great way to remember past accomplishments, but do not boast because you might forget the most important reason for looking back. The idea of reflection is to have serious thought or consideration. To emphasize consideration, is to look back at your faults, defeats, and failures and look for the opporitunity of change, truth, and the right way’. So that the next time the same situation comes to slap you in the face, you can say, Not today! and make a past defeat a present victory. That is the fine line between a regular person and a profession, not making the same mistake twice but using those mistakes to be a better doctor.