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HOW CAN I TELL IF I’M WINNING? William D. Schlaff, M.D. Professor and Vice-Chairman Department of Ob-Gyn Chief, Reproductive Endocrinology University of.

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Presentation on theme: "HOW CAN I TELL IF I’M WINNING? William D. Schlaff, M.D. Professor and Vice-Chairman Department of Ob-Gyn Chief, Reproductive Endocrinology University of."— Presentation transcript:

1 HOW CAN I TELL IF I’M WINNING? William D. Schlaff, M.D. Professor and Vice-Chairman Department of Ob-Gyn Chief, Reproductive Endocrinology University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Denver, CO

2 “Since light travels faster than sound, is this why some people appear bright until you hear them speak?” Steven Wright, Comedian

3 LEARNING OBJECTIVES At the conclusion of this presentation, the participant should be able to: 1.Define parameters of self-satisfaction 2.Outline a framework of career building 3.Draft personally valuable and achievable long term goals WHILE….

4 ….the presenter emerges unscathed having been perceived to provide some (however simple) insights without excessive pretension or pomposity.

5 FACULTY DISCLOSURE Over the past 12 months Dr. Schlaff has served as a consultant to Pfizer and to Solvay Pharmaceuticals, has received research funding from Wyeth and Organon Pharmaceuticals, AND during his career has experienced some of the successes and most of the failures (particularly the failures) about to be described.

6 “Birth is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.” Isaac Asimov, Author

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8 UNIQUE ASPECTS OF ACADEMIC OB/GYN Satisfying relationships with patients, staff, and colleagues Financial rewards Time and financial management Like private practice (and other careers) in many ways, and not really unique at all.

9 UNIQUE CHALLENGES IN ACADEMIC MEDICINE Lack of control Excessive tendency to comparison Numerous administrative hurdles Biblical factors Constantly evolving, and often inconsistent or poorly defined parameters which define success

10 THE CURRENCY OF SUCCESS IN ACADEMIC OB-GYN 1.Intellectual challenge and stimulation 2.Collegiality 3.Satisfaction of contributing 4.Variety of experience and opportunity 5.Ego 6.Money 7.ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN SCHOLARSHIP AND EDUCATION

11 I believe the most anxiety-provoking and concerning aspect of developing a career in academic medicine for many (most?) of us is unrelated to salary, bureaucratic challenges, issues of justice, or other practical considerations but, rather, relates to insecurity and uncertainty over one’s scholarly and educational contributions.

12 SCHOLARSHIP OF DISCOVERY “Traditional Research” The disciplined pursuit of new knowledge by observing and analyzing phenomena (reflected by original publications and successfully competing for peer-reviewed research grants)

13 SCHOLARSHIP OF INTEGRATION “Synthesis and Analysis” Bringing new insights to bear on previous research or clinical observations, often across disciplines. “Horizontal Scholarship” (reflected by books, chapters, clinical guidelines)

14 SCHOLARSHIP OF APPLICATION “ Bench to Bedside” Building bridges between theory and practice by applying knowledge to practical problems (reflected by development of new institutional or public policies, description of new clinical techniques or approaches)

15 SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING “More than just showing up” New teaching methods or approaches (reflected by unusual commitment or accomplishment, development of new curricula or teaching techniques)

16 EDUCATION Medical students, residents, and fellows Faculty colleagues National and International meetings Allied health professionals Lay public, policymakers

17 MENTORSHIP “ To care deeply and to consistently contribute in a manner which promotes the satisfaction and accomplishments of another, on exceedingly rare occasions even resulting in expressions of gratitude” (Oxford English Dictionary, the next edition)

18 I believe that we are ill-served by all too frequently underestimating our value and impact as teachers, mentors and role models.

19 THE OBSESSION WITH SUCCESS IN OUR ACADEMIC JOURNEY: A 12 STEP APPROACH TO THE ADDICTION OF SELF-ANALYSIS

20 “We start our careers amidst chaos and without a clear set of directions…. and from there things go downhill.” William D. Schlaff, M.D. PGY-4, University of Michigan, 1981

21 STEP 1 THE OPPORTUNITY OF RESIDENCY “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” Vladimir Lenin, Chairman, RRC

22 RESIDENCY: A painful period of professional adolescence. Steadman’s Medical Dictionary (OK, maybe this is a bit of a paraphrase)

23 Adolescents have a need to: -Demonstrate increasing competence and independence in the face of chronically stressful if not bizarre physical and social stimuli -Fixate on exploring their own sense of self by comparison to others -Function at virtually all times in the context of intense self doubt -Regularly express disdain, particularly to authority figures

24 “ The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” Bertrand Russell, philosopher

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26 YOU CAN TELL THAT YOU ARE WINNING WHEN YOU: APPRECIATE THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS AND LEARN TO TREASURE THEM

27 STEP 2 CAPE CANAVERAL STAGE Ready to blast off

28 STEP 3 Candy Store Stage Everything Looks So Good!

29 “ If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough” Mario Andretti, race car driver

30 STEP 4 Erasermate Stage Starting to wear down a bit, are you?

31 STEP 5 The Beatles Stage Eight Days a week…..HELP!

32 “ People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” Andrew Carnegie, business magnate

33 ACADEMIC FRUSTRATIONS OF THE ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Why am I not having fun? Are my contributions valuable to others or to my own career? Is it me or have I gotten bad advice? Am I just being used? Who do you trust? When can I say “No”? Is it time to change direction?

34 FACT OF LIFE More than 50% of physicians will leave their first jobs within 2 to 3 years Roger Bond, Medical Career Consultant

35 STEP 6 Charles Kuralt Stage Traveling the Roads of America…

36 STEP 7 Lilliputian Stage I feel so small and ISOLATED

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38 Overwhelmed Trapped Frustrated Uncertain about priorities Feeling that relationships (both professional and personal) are threatened Going in the wrong direction SYMPTOMS OF EARLY BURN-OUT AND SELF-DOUBT

39 STEP 8 Titanic Stage Anybody see a lifeboat?

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41 FACTORS THAT DETERMINE SUCCESS Degree to which you respect the constraints of your environment Climate changes over which you have no control How well you are supported by your friends How adversely you are affected by your enemies How you respond to the resulting challenges

42 “Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.” Oscar Wilde, author

43 STEP 9 Yogi Berra Stage When you come to a fork in the road, take it:

44 INSIGHT AND HOPEFULNESS We tend to fixate on the mistakes we made, not the triumphs we enjoyed Things are rarely as good as they look on the best days nor as bad as they look on the worst Success looks very different for different people and is defined from within Utopia exists only in a fictional work

45 FLEXIBILITY IS ESSENTIAL TO WINNING IN THE LONG TERM You may be smart, very smart, but you cannot predict the future Factors outside of you and your institution may necessitate that you modify your direction or plan SO It is important to develop your own resources (internal and external) that will allow you to solve dilemmas you could not have predicted

46 PERSONAL KEYS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS Establish perspective; take a long- term view Have patience Develop a core group of trusted colleagues Optimize organizational & time management skills BUILD SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SELF- RELIANCE

47 “Remember that amateurs built the Ark but true professionals built the Titanic” Joe Bajek, University of Colorado Hospital Information Services

48 STEP 10 Thomas Edison Stage The Light Comes On

49 “ When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before.” Mae West, Hollywood philosopher

50 YOU CAN TELL THAT YOU ARE WINNING WHEN YOU: FINALLY UNDERSTAND THAT THERE ARE MANY RIGHT ANSWERS, NOT JUST ONE.

51 STEP 11 The Sinusoidal Pattern Stage Dealing with Life’s Vicissitudes

52 STEP 12 The Timex Stage …And still ticking

53 “It’s what you learn after you think you know it all that counts” J. Robert Willson, MD

54 YOU CAN TELL THAT YOU ARE WINNING WHEN YOU: REALIZE THAT YOU HAVE COMMITTED YOURSELF TO A CAREER CHARACTERIZED BY EXCELLENCE

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56 YOU CAN TELL THAT YOU HAVE WON WHEN YOU: LEAVE A LEGACY, IN YOUR WORK AND IN YOUR LIFE, THAT MAKES ALL THE REST OF US ASPIRE TO BE LIKE YOU, AND PROUD TO CALL YOU OUR TEACHER

57 “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

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60 “I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don’t need.” Auguste Rodin on his sculptures

61 “The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning” Erich Fromm, Author and Holocaust survivor


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