It’s easy (and tempting) to end this section with just a simple sentence.
Be disciplined. It will help you tremendously as a doctor.
After all, this is self-evident.
If, at the end of five years of medical college training, you have not yet figured out (or accept) that discipline is an asset, what I tell you in the next five hundred words certainly won’t change your mind!
Still, let’s take stock.
Take your typical day at work as an intern.
You wake up in the morning and leave for the hospital. Before that, you go through a set of rituals. Brush, bathe, breakfast and more.
Imagine if you lack discipline – and do whatever you like or can.
You may show up to work with bad breath.
Or unwashed, wearing wrinkled, smelly clothes.
Or unshaven, and uncombed.
Think about the impression you’ll make with your patients.
Will you convey a sense of calm assurance to those who have placed their health – even life – in your hands?
Will you project an aura of competence and efficiency to your consultants and staff?
Will you feel the confidence and authority you need to perform your duties effectively?
Now look back to your morning –
And imagine how different things might be with a little more discipline.
You’ll wake up on time. Go through your morning toilet. Wear clean, fresh, well-pressed clothes.
You’ll have a nourishing breakfast to keep you energized for the day ahead.
You’ll arrive at work on time, feeling relaxed, comfortable and confident.
All of this merely from the application of a little discipline… to one tiny facet of your life – the morning ritual.
Now extend this impact across all areas of your work and life.
How do you go about the day’s duties? With practiced and systematic efficiency… or random, scatter-shot chaos?
How do you carry out your tasks? With a methodical approach… or willy-nilly, doing whatever catches your fancy?
How do you organize your time? With a list of things to do that you check off… or rushing from one crisis to the next?
The list goes on and on.
With some discipline, you’ll have more time for tasks, get more done, and even be able to catch a coffee or lunch break in between.
Without it, you’ll always be on a treadmill… running faster simply to stay in one place!
If you still don’t see how important it is to be disciplined… well, go ahead and do your own thing.
But if you’d like better control over your work and life, make a change right now.
Be disciplined. At everything.
Have you read Dr.Sivasubramanian’s books on the making of a surgeon yet?
Read the other ‘Desirable Traits for Interns‘ here.