As an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery resident doing the 6 year dual MD-DDS degree program, I have the unique opportunity to be in medical school after I've already graduated from dental school. This means that I am back to being a student after multiple years of patient care. My transition from doctor to student has really helped me indulge in the learning process so that I can improve the skills I felt I lacked when I was treating patients previously. I feel I have really grown in the last few months and reinvented myself in a positive way. Part of this growth includes frequent self reflection and setting goals for myself as a healthcare provider. The purpose of this exercise is to encourage me to keep my eyes on the grand picture and remind myself of the Oath I've taken towards my patients regardless of where I am in the training process.
Here are my 3 doctor goals:
1. LISTEN | to my patients. They may not always have the medical background I have but they know their bodies the best. 2. ADVOCATE | for my patients. Sometimes what's standing between disease and a cure is finances and opportunity. You're your patient's biggest advocate and you should always push for them. 3. COMMIT TO LEARNING | This may sound like it's a personal goal but this is a benefit to my patients as well. It doesn't matter how many degrees I have or how far along I am in residency there is always more to learn whether it's from colleagues, attendings, textbooks or my patients themselves.