Career and Life Planning Guidebook for Medical Residents

7. Build a Positive Mental Attitude A positive mental attitude is the single most important principle of the science of success. You will depend upon it in everything you do. You cannot get the maximum benefit out of the other sixteen principles without understanding and employing a positive mental attitude. Just as you encourage your patients to think positively about the health challenges they are facing, it’s important that you take the same position on your transition process. Can you magically make something happen? No. Will having a positive attitude position you to deal with both triumphs and challenges with equal skill and grace? Yes. 8. Control Your Enthusiasm Enthusiasm bears the same relationship to your positive mental attitude and your progress toward success as gasoline to a car’s engine; it is the fuel that drives things forward. Learning how to harvest this energy is just as important as having it from the get- go. Medicine is often a delicate balance of not just having skills and knowledge but knowing when and where to apply them. Be familiar with your goals and the emotions that go with them; taking the time to be insightful in this realmwill serve you well as you make the choices that define your career path. 9. Enforce Self-Discipline You need to focus your thoughts in order to control your needs and desired goals. This principle is all about the mastery of your own thoughts. You take possession of your own attitude, thoughts, emotions, acts, communication, and so on. This is a vital principle to make the best business decisions and set the right priorities in order to achieve the desired goals. Even as adult learners, we all benefit from some form of structure. Use this guidebook as a resource to establish a reasonable timeline for yourself to complete the tasks needed for your transition process. 10. Think Accurately Think of yourmind as a piece of land. Through diligent, planned work, it can be cultivated into a beautiful and productive garden. Or it can lie fallow, overrun by weeds sprouting from seed carried by passing birds and the wind. It is easy to spiral down, or even up, when running into an unexpected detour on this journey. Remember to center yourself, check your compass, and check in with your support network to keep yourself on track. 11. Control Your Attention Controlled attention is the act of coordinating all the faculties of the mind and directing their combined power to a given end. Much like the act of enforcing self-discipline, this reminds you to tackle one thing at a time. It’s no different than caring for a complicated patient; trying to focus on the whole picture at once can be overwhelming; by focusing on each individual issue one at a time, you are able to create a detailed yet coordinated care plan that steers the patient’s health in an overall positive direction. 12. Inspire Teamwork Cooperation, like love and friendship, is something you get by giving. There are many travelers on the road that leads to happiness. You will need their cooperation, and they will need yours. A physician is only as good as their support network. Whether you’re a managing partner or an employee at a health system, physicians are looked to as leaders of the healthcare team on a day- today basis. How you Designing Your Life and Career in Medicine 17 WWW.PHYSICIANCAREERPLANNING.COM