Doctors should define who they are

There’s stress written all over their faces.

Poised in that precarious time of life, transitioning between the teenage freedom years and the responsibilities of adulthood, those six first-year medical students look anguished. Their collective eyebrows knit together.

I’ve given them a challenging homework assignment: “Write a 500 to 1,000 word essay and read it to the class next week.”

“I’ve got a question,” J says. “You told us to write an essay about who we are. My page is blank.”

Only six months into their medical school curriculum — anatomy, physiology, blood, and lymph — their indoctrination has begun. Competitive, driven, racing on the treadmill, they’re being taught to perform like monkeys, studying to the test instead of studying to learn for the love of learning.

J’s innocent face is crestfallen.

“There’s no right or wrong answer,” I tell him laughing. “How can ‘who you are’ be right or wrong? You just are. And you’re here to get to know yourself, so that as you go through life, all of it aligns directly with who you are and what you’re most passionate about.”

Reflecting later on this insight, my heart sinks.

How did we ever train our kids to think this way, not yet 26 years old, and already shackling their creative minds to the titanium rigidity of a failing health care system, a failing country?

What’s it going to take for their elders, those supposed to be wiser than them, stronger than they are, to teach them that their future, all of our futures, lies in exactly this: the intimate knowledge and subsequent enjoyment of who they are as unique individuals, without blame, judgment or shame?

When I ask my brother, an emergency room physician, medical director, wilderness medicine expert, Himalayan mountain rescue crew member, and disaster relief specialist, who he is, he has a beautiful answer.

“I’m an explorer,” he tells these kids. “I’m here to serve the world through the medium of the outdoors.”

My business partner, twenty-five years an entrepreneur with multiple start-ups under his belt, also has the perfect answer.

“I’m a builder,” he tells me. “I build systems for sustainability.”


These answers are the essence of their being-ness and are reflected in the choices of what they do.

How many of us, especially us doctors, can really define, in one sentence or less, the true knowledge of who we are? Going to medical school has no room for this question. It’s too busy teaching you that what you are is much more important.

Soon, lost in the hype of what you do — the doing-ness of this world, you’ve lost your way. You don’t know who you are anymore.

When you attach to outside things — a house, a car, professional degrees, health insurance parties, the government, corporations — all which whisper false promises in your ears, they start to control you.

And then, they define who you are.

They tell you who you should be, instead of you discovering it for yourself. All too soon, they constrict your greatest potential for defining the financial abundance that you deserve.

It’s no great wonder why doctors are struggling with success right now.

All along, they’ve erected themselves upon ego pedestals of what they’re doing. They lost all control of who they really are, preferring to condemn those exercises as “psychobabble” and “not real science.”

But when you allow yourself dream-time inside the area of infinite possibility, and dedicate yourself to the delicious discovery of who you are, you begin to define your own life. You stop listening to those disruptive voices.

You get to know yourself. And, you begin to command your world.

Time transmutes into something so expansive, that it lifts your wings on warm currents, and you begin to fly.  Ideas come to you for amazing business opportunities that lead to additional income streams. You break the walls of the boxes, and you earn exponential income.

For you, the knot in the middle of your forehead is gone. And now, you’re just learning how to play the wonderful game of life with all that it has to offer you in financial abundance.

And soon, you never work a day in your life again.

Natasha N. Deonarain is CEO and founder, Conscious Health Solutions.  She is the author of The 7 Principles of Health and can be reached on Twitter @HealthMovement.

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