So much of becoming a doctor requires us to wait to be picked. We desire to be one of the few chosen ones out of the masses. And it is truly competitive! Almost every step of the way is filled with a bombardment of applications and standardized tests that only result in higher levels of anxiety, wait time, and for many – serious rejection.
As Seth Godin details in Reject the Tyranny of Being Picked, it has become a cultural instinct to wait to be picked. From our grade school days when we were waiting to be picked for kickball to the vast undergraduate application process, we have been trained. So obviously, this instinct has become our innate baseline. Why do we torture ourselves?
We want validation for our dedication, pain, stress and the only perceivable way to attain this is …to be chosen. Eagerly waiting can get old….fast. We are always, trying to fit into the round holes without our unusually unique square heads. That is what all of the “educational training” was about. The many years of fine tuning resulted the shearing off of pieces of our character. All of which are left behind in the promise of a better future with misguided altruism and ignorance filling the space and floating about. Schooling and especially medical school is directing us to conform. We don’t realize it and we don’t know any better. We are vastly dissimilar from one another, but our paper selves are all the same. And then it culminates on residency admissions or fellowship where the applicants are more or less the same. How do we stand out? Do we again, wait to be picked?
There is another way. And surprisingly this method makes you a stronger, more competitive applicant.
Do the things that make you unique. Have passions inside and outside of medicine that you can be proud of and that make you shine. Once we accept the idea that the validation of others is not necessary and we start picking ourselves, then we can become more creative and attractive. We focus on our own satisfaction and personal development which is instantly more appealing than sitting around waiting to be picked with everyone else.
Challenge the status quo and give yourself the power to be the decision maker, the committee, the authority and start picking yourself.