I personally believe that all of us have our own different callings, all in equal footing and all of these teach us lessons in the form of how they present situations to us and how we adapt to it. Patients taught me to become a doctor. More than ten years of having been into practice and having been a patient myself have led me to dig deeper into the meaning of the vocation I was called into. Going back to what this blog is all about here are the ten things my vocation taught me –
1- Patience. They say it is a virtue, I’d say that’s more than true. Patience with a heart to understand is the lesson learned, after all my patients are also my virtues, without them I couldn’t have grown in the field I am in and that’s the way it should also be in any path we choose to take. Patience always pays off in the end.
2- Empathy to touch people’s lives. There’s a fine line between empathy and sympathy, both entail people skills but empathy goes deeper. I remember having to cry with patients simply because I feel with them instead of for them – that’s a whole new dimension and that it’s perfectly fine to be human. Empathy allows one to see the whole picture from the other side’s perspectives and it brings in a whole new way of thinking.
3- Kindness can go miles and respect begets respect. These are basic premises in life that sometimes are forgotten. It won’t take much to be kind, right? And add to that respect too. No matter what religion you believe in it all boils down to kindness and respect.
4- Simple things means the greater things. Make someone smile whenever you can, you never know how much of a difference you could be making in their respective lives at that very moment. It’s the effort that matters and that’s where the heart of it all is.
5- Ego is futile. We were not made to exist and function alone in this world. I have always believed in the power that teamwork and collaboration brings and that you never journey alone and that when the time comes that the doctor becomes the patient, ego must be left at the door and surrender in full trust to the colleagues who will take care of you. It’s perfectly fine to not have the answers immediately but it matters that you never lose sight of the reality and heart that all will always turn out for the best.
6- Practice what you preach. The greatest advocacy is something you live up to, something you carry in your heart and something that you practice daily.
7- Trust is a process. Just like any of the relationships we have, this one takes time and effort too. It’s an uphill type of journey, a treasured one so take good care of it because once broken it will be difficult to bring back the pieces all over again.
8- Communication matters. Words matter so choose them wisely. Never ever break anybody’s spirit, it’s what we’re here for in this life. The most powerful messages are best absorbed when you listen to understand instead of listening to react.
9- Each one of us has a unique story to tell. I remember a good friend of mine telling me that it really pays off to allow space between you and the other party to really get to know each other. First impressions may not always last after all. You learn more when you begin to be real.
10- Do what you really love and if you want it you will really find a way. Being a doctor branches off after medical school and just like anything we do and whenever faced with a fork-road it always pays to ask one’s self where you’ll be able to serve the best – that’s the simple art of discernment.
Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.
Lastly, instill in you faith beyond measure. Believe in the power of hope. As they say faith is trusting in things you can’t see. We all deal with our personal adversities every single day of our lives, it happens, but hold on to that faith that it exists for a reason and that there always is sunshine after the rain.