Today I received a mail from a friend asking for tips for doctors who are in a training program for specialists. It was my pleasure to express my thoughts on it as follows. (MMed stands for Master of Medicine, the name of our local 4-year specialists training program)
A. How to be an excellent MMed Student
1. Enjoy the journey (things we enjoy, we do best)
2. Everyday, clerk one case as if you prepare for a long case in exam (exam becomes a routine, a second nature)
3. Discover and let bloom your natural curiosity (yes, in the deepest of our heart we want to know everything about every of our patients). Give your patients care beyond their own expectations
4. Ask questions and actively look for answers (own reading followed by discussion with lecturers and colleagues)
5. Have a study method, make mind maps,
B. Time management
1. Plan your study time
2. Plan your leisure time
3. Plan short term, medium term and long term
(i could make it five times plan, but will try to come up with two different ones)
4. timed revisions of summaries of readings (same day, next day, after 1 week, after 1 month)
5. Insert now and then an unplanned day
(this section B was the toughest for me since my own time management is somewhere near to the freezing point)
C. How to reduce stress
1. Find every day one flower, tree, or other wonderfully beautiful thing, take a picture of it and share it with your friends (sharing beauty works wonders). Life is not easy but oh so beautiful.
2. Try to make everyday one stranger smile and then do the same to your family and colleagues (Our steno in paeds used to say: make one friend smile and Allah will smile at you)
3. Write down your feelings, reflect on them, create a blog, write poetry, make a painting, sing under the shower (especially when no one can hear you)
4. Call your mom or dad or a lonely aunty
5 Read a few jokes, until you find one that makes you laugh
Believe in your self, think positive, remain humble and honest, eat a good diet and take on and off a deep breath.
And a final one (initially I thought I would never come up with enough tips and now i seem to overdo it ):
Whatever task at hand, read about it before you do it (be it giving a presentation, chairing a meeting, introducing a speaker, ....) All things have experts who have tried, erred and learned and written about it. We can learn from them and do not have to try and err so much along the way.