Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with the dean of an area medical school. The conversation drifted to what values he could identify in the most successful students. He immediately offered three qualities that would guarantee success in any medical school, or any other healthcare program. In all cases, these qualities carry more weight than grades, because they all directly effect the type of care the students are likely to provide for their future patients. The first quality that is essential is adaptability. Being willing and able to deal with change is key in surviving the constantly shifting world of medicine. If a person can deal with it in the safe environment of a school, they will be competent in the emergency rooms and clinics of the future.

The ability to cope with stress or panic, within themselves, as well as in those around them, establishes how they will assess and choose to react to potential life-threatening situations. I work with an 80-question assessment that identifies how people react energetically in stressful situations. What I do with this information is help client's identify when they have made choices in the past which have drained them. I then have them consider five alternative choices to their default reaction. This provides them with a toolbox for when the next time stressful situation occurs. Rather than going to the negative place they (and everyone else) usually goes, they can choose to take one of the more positive paths.

Finally, the most important quality is humility. It is a privilege to work with people to improve their lives. By remembering that the most important person in the program is not the student or the faculty, but the future patients, a student can avoid a lot of the ego, blame and conflict which can muddy their judgment and leave a negative impression with their instructors. If a student feels like they have not been treated fairly on a test or an assignment, unless it is a matter of passing or failing the class or the entire program, instead of ranting and raving for hours, a more humble approach would be to state your objection calmly and factually and then move past it. Again, everything that happens in the student/faculty relationship, lives in the shadows of the hundreds of patients the student will see in their lifetime. Remember, no matter how high up you climb, there is always someone who knows more than you.

These three qualities working together give the student a maturity which will stand out in any program. If you would like to see a teleclass or webinar about developing these qualities, I would be glad to arrange it. Send me a short message indicating your interest and I will be glad to put something on my website.

Go out and conquer your challenges in a adaptable, stress free, humble and mature way and you will survive school and change the world.

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