By Cristina Font
A huge congratulations to Rosa Lizeth Frias, MS3 at San Juan Bautista School of Medicine, who won the AMBOSS Excellence Scholarship of $500 for her essays about the meaning of excellence and the challenges and opportunities women in medicine face. Rosa has some great advice for medical students as they learn and grow to be excellent physicians:
"To be excellent physicians, I would advise medical students to carry themselves professionally and honestly in all aspects of their lives. It is important to keep evolving and identifying areas of improvement to work on from early on; the sooner you start working on those areas, the sooner you will become a better version of yourself. To do this, focus on the solution, not on the shortcoming as this emphasis puts you in an active position to implement changes.
To provide excellent care to patients, I would advise them to not take shortcuts in patient care, listen to your patients actively and be willing to filter constructive criticism from peers. Recognize that medicine is a team effort, and although physicians have a certain skill set, the skill sets of everyone else in the team are needed in order to achieve the best patient outcomes. Likewise, aim to create an environment where patients do not feel judged and can trust you with the details of their symptoms and background freely, so that you can arrive to the most appropriate diagnosis and can provide the best patient management.
To being excellent role models for all women in medicine, I would advise to recognize that we do not have to wait to be established physicians to have an impact in other aspiring female physicians. At every level of training, it is possible to be a role model for your peers by being open to discussing their aspirations, helping them go through processes you have already been through, connecting them with people who have the expertise they can benefit from, and guiding them to access appropriate resources. When in a position of leadership, it is important to see your team members’ strengths, particularly women’s, as complements to your weaknesses not as threats to your position. Finally, recognize that mentorship is a two-way street with opportunities for learning both from the person you are trying to be a role model for and yourself."