I came home for the holidays right after having completed my surgery rotation, and it has been quite difficult keeping my med student mentality in check around my family and friends. Granted, it just so happens that I’m often surrounded by people in science, medicine, and engineering, so I don’t have to suppress it too much, but even so it’s sometimes better to keep some things to oneself. I do just want to help my family be as well as possible, and they value my opinion too, but there’s a balance.
In physics and music, there’s the concept of resonance. In simple terms, resonance occurs when one object vibrates at the “natural frequency” of another object, causing that object to vibrate as well. I think both for my future patients and for my loved ones, the goal is to find that resonance of persuasion, in which I am able to help guide them towards their health goals without being forceful or domineering. Just repeatedly and antagonistically telling someone, “You need to lose weight/quit smoking/take your meds!” can only go so far. The right words, the right tone, the right timing, and the right attitude can create positive, healthy, lasting changes much more effectively.