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Career & Leadership

Why I’m successful at work: wrong answers only

January 14, 2021

This post is inspired by Twitter and the silly threads you’ll see there featuring “wrong answers only.” This kind of thread is often inspired by a funny picture… or one that could have many possible explanations. If you’re not on Twitter yet, head over there to see what I mean, and get a dose of humor. It’s true, some use Twitter like a living curriculum vitae (CV). That’s certainly the case in my field of interventional radiology. The platform lends itself to sharing interesting cases and learning points, especially image-based ones. Even if you’re in a less image-oriented field, there is plenty of #MedEd to be had. Physicians and other healthcare workers post about thought-provoking patient encounters, dealing with difficult situations, and all kinds of advocacy. To be honest, it can be a lot to take in. It’s a cacophony of voices. But those are a couple of reasons Twitter keeps me engaged from time to time, and why you might want to jump on that bird app yourself. And as promised, here are some reasons why I’m successful at work (wrong answers only).

Why I’m successful (not!)

I never have a complication (they happen).

I never miss a diagnosis (we all do).

My perfect hair (it has a different personality each day, and I don’t spend a lot of time fighting it).

My people skills (I try, but I’m still learning).

I smile at staff for no reason (I can’t smile my way through life. It’s not naturally me.)

I floss my teeth at work (…it has to be done, but I try not to get caught)!

You’ll never see me lose my cool. (Um, have you heard practicing medicine can come with some inherent frustrations?)

Everyone likes me (really, some just tolerate me).

I get along with everyone. (I try to find some way to make some small connection with those on my team.)

I’m kind and patient in the IR suite. (In reality, everything is time-sensitive. And you just kinked my wire again, newbie…)

Gender bias is a thing of the past (…sadly, it’s alive and well, but I don’t let it stifle me anymore).

Here’s some radical honesty about being successful.

So the next time you think you need to be perfect to succeed in medicine, think of me! I’m proof there’s no need for perfection. We are succeeding when we’re doing the best we can each day (truly). If you need a reminder, make sure you listen to my recording, 7 things to keep you going strong on the path to becoming a doctor. I share some secrets and foibles there. 

Hungry for more encouragement and connection? That’s the aim of my new podcast, Save Lives, Enjoy Your Own, which you can consume anywhere you get your podcasts! I’m a fan of the Overcast app, but I’ve used the Apple podcasts app as well. It’s even on Spotify, so now, you can instruct Alexa to fire up an episode of “Save Lives, Enjoy Your Own!”

Please take a moment to drop a comment below, about why you’re successful at work. Wrong answers optional!

You can leave a comment by clicking “hide/show comments” below this post. I love hearing your reactions, thoughts and experiences.

‘Till next time, keep thriving!

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The path can be riddled with failures, even if you're doing it right. In this recording, I share some of my gaffes with you.

How to frame failure
on the road to success

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