Ever since you were a kid, people have tried to throttle your curiosity.

In many different ways.

“Don’t keep asking silly questions,” they’ve said. “Just do what I say!”

Or they preached a pithy homily: “Curiosity killed the cat!”

If you continued to stay curious despite all of this, good for you!

But even if you didn’t, growing up from intern to doctor requires that you rekindle your curiosity – once again.

Being curious about things is a fantastic way to learn and grow.

Unless you’re curious to learn, you’ll hardly ever take the initiative to explore, examine and evaluate.

Let’s say you’re sitting in the out patient clinic, and a patient arrives with an unusual set of symptoms.

You could prescribe something soothing and send him away.

Or refer him over to another senior doctor.

Those are simple ways to deal with the case – but you’ll gain little from it.

On the other hand, if you were curious to learn more about this strange combination, you could:

  • Go along with the patient to ask a more knowledgeable doctor about the problem
  • Look up the symptoms in a textbook or website, to figure out what may be causing it
  • Discuss the interesting case with your peers and colleagues to see if anyone has seen it before

All of this involves making a greater effort. Taking more time. And asking people for help.

But then, it also helps you learn something new about a condition you didn’t understand earlier.

And the next time you see this problem – maybe years later – you’ll be better equipped to handle it confidently.

Being curious about the world around you leads to delightful experiences.

You’ll remain watchful and observant of things happening.

You’ll actually engage with the people you meet, and enjoy the places you visit – instead of blankly staring into your mobile phone!

You’ll experience more of the magic of nature and existence.

And you’ll be more keenly aware of the world and your role in it… and want to understand it better.

This in turn leads you to…

Explore new subjects of interest.

Embark upon voyages of discovery.

Examine fresh evidence critically.

Evaluate theories and hypotheses carefully.

And in the end, you’ll know more.

Become more confident.

Be a better doctor.

So… Stay curious.

Have you read Dr.Sivasubramanian’s books on the making of a surgeon yet?

Read the other ‘Desirable Traits for Interns‘ here.

Published by DrSivasubramanian

Paediatric Heart Surgeon and Author -

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