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Personal Growth Program

The Office of Student Affairs is excited to partner with you and offer an optional program on Personal Growth. The Personal Growth Program is an opportunity to assist you with self-exploration, self-awareness and self-esteem to increase your skills and fulfill your personal goals. The process of exploring your innermost self to attain a purpose or a goal, especially in the pursuit of clarity and passion in life, is important. A focus on your personal development alongside professional development helps create a well-rounded physician.

Colorful chart showing the sessions or elements of the personal growth program

Communication

Why Communication Matters - psychologytoday.com

  • How we communicate helps relationships get off on the right foot, navigate problems, and change over time
  • In communication, we develop, create, maintain, and alter our relationships
  • We communicate to work our way through family changes and challenges in verbal and non-verbal ways

Thought Prompt: Is email/text the best form of communication? Have you ever found that someone misinterpreted your intention because of email or text? Have your relied on forms of communication that distance yourself from personal interaction (particularly through the pandemic)?

Read:

Listen: OSA Insider Podcast

Action Items:

Spotlight:

Gratitude

Gratitude is an emotion similar to appreciation and helps people focus on the positive aspects of their life. Gratitude can help build and maintain relationships with others, resulting in hope, life satisfaction, and more proactive behaviors toward others (Passmore & Oades, 2016). Studies have shown that gratitude is an important “predictor of wellbeing and other desirable life outcomes” (Portocarrero et al., 2020, p. 6)

Gratitude can be cultivated and learned!

Read: The Psychological Benefits of Gratitude and Being Thankful

Listen: Finding Gratitude in Challenging Times | Harvard Graduate School of Education

Action Items: Gratitude Test (idrlabs.com)

AAMC Spotlight: Attitude of Gratitude: How Just Three Minutes Per Day Can Increase Joy, Happiness, and Resilience | Students & Residents (aamc.org)

Leadership

Leadership: “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.” —Dolly Parton

Read:

Listen: OSA Insider Podcast

Action Items:

Spotlight: 

Motivation/Passion

Motivation allows you to increase your creativity, expand your goals/pursuits, develop your skills and improves your engagement with others and your environment.

Read: How to Keep Working When You’re Just Not Feeling It

Listen: OSA Insider Podcast: Finding Your Passion 

Action Items:

AAMC Spotlight: Aisa Iyawe

 

Optimism/Positivity/Happiness

Positive psychology: "a branch of psychology focused on the character strengths and behaviors that allow individuals to build a life of meaning and purpose - to move beyond surviving to flourishing." - psychologytoday.com 

Benefits of Optimism-Positivity-Happiness:Happy people live with purpose. They find joy in lasting relationships, working toward their goals, and living according to their values." psychologytoday.com

Read: 

Listen: OSA Insider Podcast

Action Items:

AAMC Spotlight: Attitude of Gratitude: How Just 3 Minutes Per Day Can Increase Joy, Happiness and Resilience | Students & Residents (aamc.org)

Purpose/Vision

Purpose is the reason for which something is done or created. Vision is an imagined mental image of something.

Our personal purpose can serve our personal vision for our future self. Many students (and people) find themselves asking “why am I doing this” or “what do I want.” This is where examining our personal purpose and vision becomes helpful to support not only our professional goals, but our personal ones too.

Read: Start Finding Your Purpose and Unlock Your Best Life (betterup.com)

Listen: OSA Insider Podcast: Your Personal Mission Statement and Brand

Action Items:

AAMC Spotlight: Eliana Garcia

Relationships/Peer Support

Relationships matter because they are the foundation of the human experience. They form the context and space for connection. Relationships allow individuals to express themselves and their desires. 

Read:

Listen: OSA Insider Podcast

Action Items:

Spotlight: 

Resilience

Resilience is the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands. A number of factors contribute to how well people adapt to adversities, including the ways in which individuals view and engage with the world, the availability and quality of social resources, and specific coping strategies.

Read:

Listen: OSA Insider Podcast

  • Episode 107: Just Culture with Dr. Nidhi Goel
    • Think about the last time you made a mistake. Now, imagine this happened at work, with a patient, and that your clinical setting is a punitive place where people are shamed for their mistakes. Would you want to tell anyone about this error? What if, instead, you worked somewhere that embraced open conversation about errors, and looked without judgement at all the factors that might lead to mistakes? This is at the heart of Just Culture - a philosophy and process that looks at both the individual and the system in a non-punitive way to figure out where something went wrong, and how we can all learn from it and make changes so it doesn't happen again.

Action Items:

Spotlight: 

Self-Understanding

Self-understanding allows us to systemically observe our ability to have self-compassion, self-value and understand the personality traits and behaviors that make us who we are. Self-understanding is a process of examining parts of ourselves to help achieve our goals and be content in our lives.

Read:

Listen: OSA Insider Podcast

Action Items:

Spotlight:

Skill Building - Confidence/Imposter Syndrome

Skill Building - Confidence/Imposter Syndrome: even Michelle Obama has imposter syndrome! 

Read:

Listen: OSA Insider Podcast

Action Items:

Spotlight: 

Time Management

Time Management is the skill of organizing and aligning your tasks and objectives into a schedule.

Benefits of Time Management: Reduces stress, provides a sense of achievement, allows you to meet your GOALS, VISION, and PURPOSE (see October.)

Read: Time Management Tips for Your Personal and Professional Development

Listen: OSA Insider Podcast

Action Items:

AAMC Spotlight: A Medical Student's Reflection on Time, Our Scarcest Resource