As humans, I believe many of us have the desire to leave our mark on the world (myself included). Gandhi (one of my all-time favorite individuals) once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Medicine couldn’t be more perfect for this. One day, we will have the opportunity to heal through medicine and save lives. But you don’t have to wait until you’re a physician to leave your mark. One of the most effective ways to serve is through small acts of kindness developed into everyday habits.
- Give your undivided attention to people. This goes a long way with many people—physicians, nurses, patients, etc.
- Remember people’s names. I know I feel valued when someone remembers my name, so why not make a more conscious effort to do that with others (especially your patients and their support persons)?
- Be willing to offer a helping hand—we have so many opportunities to do this during rotations.
- Lead with integrity. Because it’s the right thing to do.
- Smile. I am a chronic smiler, and it’s one of my favorite ways to connect with people.
- Give genuine compliments. Need I say more?
- Show respect. Everyone deserves to be respected.
- Stay positive. Attitude is contagious—be the change.
- Be your best self. You owe it to those around you.
- Express appreciation. We are lucky to be where we are.
There are many ways to leave your legacy. You can touch lives just by being a good person. You have the power to influence significant change and leave a mark on the lives of those who really matter: the people you share your life with, including your patients.
So…how do you plan to leave your mark?