Sometimes medical school, martial arts, life is overwhelming.
When I have time to review one-on-one with my students, I ask them to name one thing, two things, three things they learned from each patient we saw together. It can be something about how to introduce yourself, clean your hands before your touch the patient, ask a question, redirect a wandering conversation, or the core medical information such as key history for a sore throat, first line antibiotics for sinusitis, how to do a pap, anything. In the sea of all the things we strive to know, sometimes the place to start is where you are. If you can name one thing (or two or three) for each patient, even though you still feel overwhelmed and insufficient and far from where you want to be, you’ll know you are smarter, better by the end of the day.
Grandmaster Yu reminds us to be better today than yesterday. And when we want to get stronger, he tells us to start with 10 pushups and add one each day. If I could do 12 yesterday, surely I can do 13 today! By the end of 2 months, I’ll be doing 70.
Learn one thing. Do one thing more or better than last time. Today.