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Archive for the ‘Professionalism’ Category

Peer Evaluation – How to Compliment Fellow Medical Students and Residents

Posted by medliorator on April 26, 2010

Chris Birk

1. Be Specific
Detail is …the heart of a great compliment.  Hone in on a specific achievement or aspect and focus your words on that. A vague, generalized comment that can be recycled throughout the day …lacks real meaning because of its cookie-cutter nature.
Specific compliments have lasting power. So do those that favor character over objects or outward appearance. They indicate that you’ve truly taken stock of a person and their attributes and, in turn, compressed those thoughts into a value judgment.

2. Be Genuine

Sincerity is a byproduct of genuine belief or emotion.  To toss up a compliment because of social convention or circumstance is to speak without real meaning.  Writing about the art of compliments for Esquire magazine, Tom Chiarella summed it up perfectly: “If a worthwhile compliment needs anything, it is the weight of realization behind it.”

How to Give Compliments That Mean Something [Life Optimizer]

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How to Master Humility on the Wards

Posted by medliorator on January 6, 2010

The clinical years of medical school are, in large part, a game of appearances.  Medical students must find there place at the bottom rung, and they must excel in this place.  An air of humility is often interpreted by the rest of the team in a positive light.  Many of your evaluators use humility as a surrogate marker for other personality traits valued in health care (work ethic, cooperation, compassion, intelligence).  Any behaviors that smack of condescension will come back to bite you, even if you are the most productive worker on your team.  Learn humility by avoiding it’s opposite.  Here are a few tips to unlearn condescending behaviors from wikiHow:

3.  Be compassionate, not condescending …see others for all the struggles, triumphs, achievements, doubts, fragility, and strengths that they are really made of.  We are all in positions of unique perspective. Every person you see is a wealth of information and ideas that you haven’t come across. Learn how to approach people looking to find the hidden gem in them. Look for that unique thing in them that makes them special. You will find that you don’t have to fake it.

4. Try something new. Do something you have never done before, something that requires you to rely on somebody else’s knowledge and abilities. Let yourself trust them and keep your mind and ears wide open …Learning is a process of being humble and in being humble, you unlearn condescension.

5.  Be assertive, not biting. make your points using the skills of assertive speaking. If you are afraid that people won’t respect you or listen, think again – people respect the differing views of others when they are put calmly, clearly, and with a view to discussion rather than cutting off further communications

How to Stop Being a Condescending Person [WikiHow]

Posted in Clinical Rotations, Professionalism | 2 Comments »

Coping with Difficult Teammates

Posted by medliorator on August 13, 2009

1. Be calm – Someone who is calm is seen as being in control, centered and more respectable. Would you prefer to work with someone who is predominantly calm or someone who is always on edge?

3. Get some perspective from others – In all likelihood, your colleagues, managers and friends must have experienced similar situations in some way or another. They will be able to see things from a different angle and offer a different take on the situation. Seek them out, share your story and listen to what they have to say.

4. Let the person know where you are coming from – Letting them in on the reason behind your actions and the full background of what is happening will enable them to empathize with your situation. This lets them get them on-board much easier.

5. Build a rapport – Re-instill the human touch by connecting with your colleagues on a personal level. Go out with them for lunches or dinners. Get to know them as people, and not colleagues.

7. Focus on what can be actioned upon – Sometimes, you may be put into hot soup by your difficult colleagues, such as not receiving a piece of work they promised to give or being wrongly held responsible for something you didn’t do. Whatever it is, acknowledge that the situation has already occurred… focus on the actionable steps you can take to forward yourself in the situation.

9 Useful Strategies to Dealing with Difficult People at Work [Dumb Little Man]

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How to Handle Criticism as a Medical Student

Posted by medliorator on April 25, 2009

Accept self-criticism properly – It has taken my entire first year, a new way of studying and a doubling of my efforts to finally become “average.” …As I got to know my classmates more, my past achievements and experiences in comparison seemed to be insignificant. There was always someone who would be smarter, more talented, more sociable, harder working, athletic, or better than me at certain activities. This can do terrible things to your self-esteem.

Instead of just focusing on the negatives, you must take time to appreciate all your own accomplishments, even if they seem insignificant to others. Compare yourself to yourself. If everyday, you can wake up and be a better person than you were yesterday, you have already made progress.

Separating the Critic from the CriticismNo one loves a messenger of bad news, so please don’t shoot the messenger! For the most part, your preceptors and professors are on your side… Don’t always handle criticism with a hostility. A enthusiastic and humble attitude makes the difference between a frustrating comment and an opportunity to grow.

Handling Criticism [Medaholic]

Correlate: How to Utilize Criticism

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Essential Facebook Privacy Tips for Medical Students

Posted by medliorator on March 23, 2009

1. Use Your Friend Lists – For those not aware of what friend lists are, Facebook describes them as a feature which allows “you to create private groupings of friends based on your personal preferences. For example, you can create a Friend List for your friends that meet for weekly book club meetings. You can create Friend Lists for all of your organizational needs, allowing you to quickly view friends by type and send messages to your lists.”

  • You can add each friend to more than one friend group
  • Friend groups should be used like “tags” as used elsewhere around the web
  • Friend Lists can have specific privacy policies applied to them

A typical setup for groups would be “Friends”, “Family”, and “Professional”. These three groups can then be used to apply different privacy policies. For example, you may want your friends to see photos from the party you were at last night, but you don’t want your family or professional contacts to see those photos.

10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know [AllFacebook]

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How to Utilize Criticism

Posted by medliorator on October 24, 2008

You need the critics, because criticism can help you make improvements.

You need to be able to absorb and act on sometimes unfair criticism, while staying motivated.  The people with the thickest skins aren’t insensitive jerks.  These are the people who are able to take downright abusive comments, pick apart the pieces to make themselves better, and still be able to wake up with energy in the morning.

if you disregard every piece of feedback that doesn’t come with a smile, you’re missing out on a lot of growth opportunities.

criticism tends to come in a few major forms:

  • Insults –  personal attacks based on emotions, not reasoning.  They tend to attack you or your character, not what you’re doing.  I tend to ignore these unless they run in a very specific theme, in which case it’s time to do some self-reflection to see if they have any basis.
  • Critiques – These are, sometimes harsh, suggestions for improvement… strip away all the abusive language and focus on the information it contains.
  • Anger – If you’re doing things to piss people off, don’t be surprised when they get angry.  Use this feedback to check your behavior, to see if there is anything you could change to stop it.
  • Not interested – implied criticisms… the “no” you get after asking for a favor, or the unreturned calls.  I think the best way to interpret these is to modify your approach and try again.

How to Develop a Thicker Skin [Scott H Young]

Posted in How-To, Productivity, Professionalism | 1 Comment »

Measuring Emotional Intelligence

Posted by medliorator on October 2, 2008

  • Emotional Intelligence is a set of 4 distinct yet related abilities: (1) perceiving emotions; (2)
    using emotions; (3) understanding emotions; and, (4) managing emotions. This framework can be used to understand the factors that make up interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Emotional Intelligence can be measured in individuals. There are two self report tests and one ability based test: The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test. The disadvantage of self report tests is that these tests measure the perception of emotions than measuring the abilities themselves. The measurement of EI as an ability has the potential to provide a more objective and, therefore, effective assessmentof these skills.
  • You can train EI but these training programs and their effectiveness have not been tested adequately yet.
  • Doctors with good communication and interpersonal skills are less likely to receive patient complaints and more likely to play a major role in reducing medical errors

Emotional Intelligence and Medical Education [Dr. Shock]

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How are New Members of AΩA Chosen?

Posted by medliorator on September 30, 2008

The Constitution of AΩA gives many degrees of freedom to each chapter for the process of election of student members within certain firm guidelines. These can be summarized as follows:

  1. At approximately 16 months before a given class will graduate from medical school, the Councilor must arrange with the dean’s office, with the students’ permission, to receive in confidence a list of the top quartile as measured by academic performance.
  2. From this top quartile of students, each chapter may elect to AΩA membership up to one-sixth of the projected number of students that will graduate. The Councilor then invites members of AΩA in the faculty who know students and their performance in the classroom and in clerkships to meet in confidence to select students for membership. The chapter may elect up to half of that one-sixth of students in the spring of the third year, and the remainder at any time from the fall of the fourth year until graduation. There is wide variability in the process among chapters. Some elect no junior students, and several elect all student members in the spring of their senior year just prior to graduation.
  3. Those students chosen from the top quartile for election are picked not only for their high academic standing, but as well for leadership among their peers, professionalism and a firm sense of ethics, promise of future success in medicine, and a commitment to service in the school and community. By adherence to these criteria it has happened that one or more of the highest ranked students by grade point average have not been elected to the society.

from Alpha Omega Alpha

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Survey of Unprofessional Behavior

Posted by medliorator on September 12, 2008

This study assessed participation in and perceptions of unprofessional behaviors among entering medicine interns at the University of Chicago Medical Center and 2 independent residency programs affiliated with Northwestern University at the time of the survey

110 of 118 interns (93.2%) completed the survey… Making fun of patients to colleagues, falsifying medical records, and reporting patient information as normal when uncertain of the true results were perceived as most unprofessional (lowest Likert score) but were reported in 17%, 13%, and 10% of respondents, respectively

Participation in and Perceptions of Unprofessional Behaviors Among Incoming Internal Medicine Interns [JAMA]

Research has shown that those with poor ratings on professional behavior early in their careers are at greater risk of disciplinary action later on.

Ever wonder if your doctor is laughing at you? [CNN Health]

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How do Doctors Heal?

Posted by medliorator on September 7, 2008

One of my friends lost a patient some time ago… It was the kind of case every anesthesiologist hopes never to have to face.  Unfortunately, it’s also the kind of situation that comes to every anesthesiologist’s table sooner or later, regardless of his or her skill and experience. My anesthesiologist friend asked me a very thought-provoking question after he told me about his experience… “Are you willing to continue in a career knowing that this will happen to you someday, if it hasn’t already, and you’re going to have to deal with it and live with it and not give in to grief and self-doubt afterward? Do you love this work and believe in yourself enough to keep going? Because if you don’t, you need to get out now while you can.”

Doctors grieve. Doctors shed tears, seen and unseen, over patients, for many different reasons – at least, the ones who care do. I know this to be true. Seen it. Done it. But doctors also can’t be debilitated by grief or doubt or regret for too long. Other lives hang in the balance. The question is, how do doctors heal?

Losing Patients [Notes of an Anesthesioboist]

Posted in Medical Errors, Medical Ethics, Professionalism, Wellness & Health | Comments Off on How do Doctors Heal?