Your unique qualities and attributes allow you to interact with each of your patients in a way that only you can. Embrace what sets you apart.
In obstetrics, clinicians worry about babies who are “growth restricted” because their low birth weights—less than tenth percentile—may signal a placenta that is not providing the proper nutrition and oxygen for fetal growth and development. As a middle-aged woman who stands a modest 4 foot 11 inches, and weighed only 5 and 1/2 pounds at birth, I was probably considered growth restricted, but my mother was not screened for this abnormality in the 1960s when I was born. Had she known that I would be short in stature and weight, would she have worried about me more than necessary? Would she not have told me that I would be brilliant, talented, and a leader in my community as she so often did?
As one of the smallest graduates from my high school class, I felt “different.” Most teens don’t want to celebrate their differences, they want to conform. I was the first in line (i.e. the shortest) during graduation day march. I was—and still am—in the “less than tenth percentile” for height. However, what I didn’t realize then was that more important than height was the power of my brain. Instead of thinking about being “less than tenth,” I started remembering that I was in the “top tenth” for academic success, as well as the “top tenth” in the performing arts.
Over the years, I have come to realize that being petite sets me apart. Most people I meet remember me because I am different. What used to be less than is now more than.
Reflect on what makes you unique
Reflect for a moment on the things that make you different from your colleagues, in your specialty, and in your office. Your unique qualities and attributes allow you to interact with each of your patients in a way that only you can.
Now when I enter the operating room for GYN surgery and the staff giggle about my need to stand on a step stool, I harness the Power of Petite, politely accept the stool, and confidently proceed to help my unique patient in a way that only I can.