Full day two of session three – listening, learning, presenting and pondering. Returning to the chair for a full business day of sitting and Power Points is a challenge, I marvel at the volume of these days endured in the earliest years of medical education. Synthesizing new information, learning the language of Capitol Hill and realizing the seemingly endless influencers of the health of our nation creates further unexpected parallels with the dawn of my medical career.
Having moved between clinical practice, administration, entrepreneurship, advocacy and coaching, I seek to strike a balance among these in a way that serves the best health of all things. With a closer look at roles in the federal government, professional agencies, advocacy and consulting groups, the doors of possibility are thrown wide open. While not the clarity that narrowed scope might offer, the broad considerations offer ample space for contemplation on how best to align interest, experience and skills with need and availability.
Delivering the presentation of our first assignment today and receiving feedback on my instincts and inclination with the work brought unexpected encouragement. The preparation process highlighted my novice status with policy evaluation, analysis and summary. After many moments of wondering if I was even in the ballpark it was a welcome relief to find my thoughts and efforts were in fact in the arena, bolstering my resolve for the next phase of the program.
With a lifelong expanse of interests, it is fascinating to witness overlap and synergy in unexpected moments. Over time I am learning to embrace the cumulative and collaborative impact of life experience and appreciate that preparation, even when seemingly unrelated, can move one forward. Reading, writing, interpreting, speaking, listening, acting and participating are investments that will pay dividends in currency that is accepted everywhere life takes us.
As with our first job, we will likely not begin in the same industry or venue where we will be in five, ten, twenty or fifty years, but we must begin by beginning. As with effective savings, even tiny amounts when initiated early and added to consistently can have dramatic results from compounding interest. Strengthening our skillset in areas of interest or familiarity can provide a solid foundation from which we can begin to stretch, reach and leap into new arenas. Muscles will certainly need to be honed specifically for the new tasks but will be much more responsive to the training if primed by previous strength training.
May we take the best of past experience into the breadth of future opportunity through wholehearted present engagement.