The author of this article Sue Jacques, a professionalism expert who specializes in medical and corporate civility.
Physicians are expected to exemplify professional conduct and make smart lifestyle choices, but it can be challenging to consistently demonstrate model behavior. Here are five ways to represent yourself in the best light possible:
- Recognize that you have influence: Accept that your attitude and actions are constantly being scrutinized and recognize that this should empower you to develop better habits. Pacing yourself, adopting an optimistic outlook, and sharing gratitude and compliments more generously will directly affect how others perceive you.
- Reflect on influential role models: Think about the people who have had the most influence on you and use their conduct, attitude, and principles as a guideline to highlight the virtues you would like to adopt.
- Be strategic: Good planning is the key to developing long-term changes. Start small with “bite-sized” changes.
- Empathize: No one is infallible, including you. Discuss the shortcomings you share with patients to strengthen your bond with them and inspire positive lifestyle changes for both of you.
- Keep your word: You will gain respect from patients, colleagues, and the public by being reliable and this quality needs to be demonstrated by everyone who represents your practice.
Being a good role model is like climbing a ladder. Every rung offers a different perspective, a better view, and a greater opportunity to share your insights.
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