Always offer to help - [Life as a Medical Student - #Issue 2]
2 min read

Always offer to help - [Life as a Medical Student - #Issue 2]

I got posted to a Gastro Ward this week, and most of the cases were neonatal jaundices, so I didn't exactly had a busy week.

Here are the lessons I learnt this week

Put on your own oxygen mask first

Before helping someone, help yourself first. Priortise taking care of yourself before taking care of someone else. Even if that means saying no to other. You can't help people out if you can't help yourself.

The obstacle is the way

Whatever problem you're facing, there's always a way for you to learn from it. Instead of being miserable, always ask yourself: "How can I make use of this situation?". It's all about the questions you ask yourself.

Always offer to help

"Hey Dr, my name is Haikal, and I'm a medical student. Is there anything I can help you out with?"

That single sentence is one of the most valuable things I do every day at the wards.

Thanks to it, I got extra teaching, saw interesting and helped out with procedures, and got to build a relationship with doctors.

In life, there are window openers and door knockers.

Window openers are those who take action only when they can clearly see the outcome. They see the outcome through the door, and open the window.

However, most good things in life can't be seen through windows. They are usually hidden behind doors.

Door knockers are those who tries things out even when they don't know what outcome it will bring.

Offering to help is sort of like knocking on doors. You might not get something in return most of the time, but keep knocking on doors, and it will compound into something great over time.

Communication is key

Instead of sulking when things don't go your way, communicate with your colleagues. Anthony Robbins calls this communicating your rules. It's the clue to having better relationships.

Say what's on your mind, but be respectful. Should your colleague disagree with you, know that the responsibility is off you. You no longer have control over what they do because you've already done your part. You said what you could.

Communicating can be as simple as saying you have dibs on a case to present, or just by telling your colleagues that you prefer to do things in a certain way.

Have something to look forward to at the end of the day

Medical school can be frustrating at times. I find this especially true in COVID times. That's why it's really helpful to have something to look forward to at the end of the day.

For me, that thing is tennis. For some reason, playing tennis brings me into another world. I forget about whatever problem I'm facing, and I simply focus on playing. I always look forward to playing it every day.

Having something to look forward to makes your days more positive. If I feel like I didn't get much done at the wards, I know that when I leave the hospital, there's something I can look forward to.

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