Last week, Manchester Women’s Institute held a panel discussion on “Women in the NHS” to celebrate the upcoming International Women’s Day on March 8th. The W.I. had some set questions prepared for us all and there were also some extra questions from the audience on the night.
I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about this a lot, and as I have reflected I have come up with a list of 5 things that I believe will stand me in good stead in the weeks and years to come.
We must come to terms with the fact that rudeness is a serious problem and throw out any idea that it is somehow worth putting up with to get the job done. The reality is, not only does it not get the job done, it actually makes the job harder.
We must aspire to be more than covers bands, playing the same popular tunes that everyone has heard before and loves to sing along with. We must write our own songs, new songs, play them loudly and risk being ridiculed because, just like Rock & Roll, trying to make medicine better is a risk.
Trust underpins who we are as doctors. We can talk all we like about autonomy, justice, beneficence, and non-maleficence, create guidelines around confidentiality, consent and shared decision-making but none of it means anything if our patients don’t trust that we believe in and will uphold those ideals. Trust is everything.
When we stop and think about who has influenced us at work, there is often something about the way they actually lived their lives that made that impact. It wasn’t just what they believed, what they said, that struck us, it was how they acted, how they lived that made us stop and take note. If we are honest we want to be like them too, someone that people look up to, someone who sets an example for others and makes people want to be better. Is this something that just happens or can we actively choose to be like that?