Tuesday, April 20, 2021

"Permanent Record"

How many times have you heard it (or said it)? "That will go on your permanent record." True, it's mainly  said to children, and we're beyond that. But did we ever change our behavior?

There's an old joke, told among physicians. What do you call the person who graduated last in a medical class? Doctor. I've followed the careers of my med school classmates, and some of the ones that finished at the top of the class turned out not to have such great successes. Others, who finished near the bottom, had stellar careers. (For those interested, I ended up in the top quarter of 100 students). The point--a great education doesn't guarantee success. A great work ethic does.

When I was a junior in med school, it was either a simpler time or I'm remembering it that way. When I was trying to decide where I was going for my specialty training, I looked around and chose the program I wanted. I talked with the chairman there, he said I was in, and that was that. Nowadays, a residency is chosen after careful deliberation, followed by application to several programs with a fervent hope that the one choosing the applicant would be the best one. But I had a more casual approach, I guess. Simpler times.

To close the loop, let me say that when I finished my residency I felt well-prepared. I had some excellent training. I took some courses in rhinology along the way, and as my experience grew, I  became interested in allergy, so my specialty--when I finally sub-specialized--became rhinology/allergy. I was able to do very well in that sub-specialty. My assessment, in the end, was that where you studied didn't matter so much as what you did with the knowledge you gained.

The point to this story (if there is a point) is that one need not be at the top of the class nor graduate from the best school with a fabulous record to be a success. It's up to the individual to use whatever they are given to the best advantage. Have you?


Priscilla Bettis said...

No, I haven't used what I've been given to the best advantage. I'm still working on it, though, still working on improving my decisions, where I focus my energy, and so forth.

Patricia Bradley said...

I think it all boils down to work ethic. Most people get out of education what they put in it...like everything else. :-) Good post!

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks to both of you for commenting (and for your compliment, Patricia). I'll note it on both your permanent records. : )

Priscilla Bettis said...