Dr. Ronnie Bhola
2 Aug 2022
It might be true, that the deeper drivers for taking this path could be hidden too far beneath the surface.
Traditionally, becoming a doctor was one of the most esteemed privileges that any child could achieve, to make their parents proud. It was the pinnacle of academic success, and the ultimate goal for many, but was it always for the right reasons? It might be true, that the deeper drivers for taking this path could be hidden too far beneath the surface. Today, it’s more important than ever to bring these insights to light.
Surely, many of us had ambitions of healing the sick and giving sight to the blind, but often times, becoming a doctor meant you had a good chance of becoming wealthy, living in a big house, driving a fancy car and having a super comfortable life.
What I discovered, is that these are poor markers for defining a fully successful life. What comes after achieving these conventional goals?
In my experience, what’s been most meaningful, is utilising our platform as doctors to be of service to others. This is something I’ve learnt and now it’s time to impart this wisdom to the new generation of doctors. We can shift the perspective, by moving away from solely worldly ambitions and closer towards goal setting in the areas of service and contribution.
The famous quote from JFK might sound a bit cliché, but it sums it up quite well “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”
Having practiced medicine over the years, I recall some of the most pivotal moments that changed the trajectory of my career. Those who chose to spend time teaching me and encouraging me along the way, shaped the doctor I am today. Those who said it’s ok to do more, it’s ok to make changes, it’s ok to try something new. Those were the voices that stuck.
In the early days, I too had my challenges, starting out as a clinician and surgeon, who needed guidance and a lot of help. Thankfully, I accepted all of the help that was offered and used my personal drive to make a difference.
Now it is our turn, to offer learning opportunities, and inspiration to those who need it in our profession. Our learning expands even more when we develop others.
This is an investment in the health leaders of tomorrow.
Surely medical school and the slew of post-graduate programs equip you with the academics and the fundamentals, to be a good doctor, but the other lessons about humility, growth, sacrifice, altruism and courage; they are best imparted by those who’ve walked this road before.
We have to become mentors, advocates for training and development, innovation, systems and process ingenuity, all with the goal of answering the defining question:- How can we contribute?