Slowing Down a Speedy Rheumatologist

Slowing Down a Speedy Rheumatologist

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By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

My brother and wife introduced me to Audible and I've become a little addicted to this audiobook service. I find I can listen while driving and listen while I'm on the exercise bike so I no longer neglect "reading" books.

I recently completed the 7 Habits of Effective People by Steven Covey.

There was clear room for me to improve and the major message I took from this, is one our staff at BJC Health will no doubt agree with.

You may find this hard to believe (ahem..) but I'm a little impatient and very quick-to-the-point.

I know this is a weakness and one I want to correct. But it's so, so hard.

Counting to 8 before I speak is a skill I certainly do not have........

The 2 things I learned and had reinforced which I will improve are:
  1. Trying to listen twice as much as I speak.
    • This will help me understand the other person's point of view, and prevent me from launching into my own point of view. If I can make the other person feel that I have listened to them, and if I can truly understand their position, we are likely to be able to work on a win-win solution.
  2. Slowing down.
    • I pride myself on efficiency and that's probably a useful thing when juggling the demands of the clinic and life. Efficiency is great with processes but it's not so good with people. Stuff with people works better slow. Working with people and their belief systems take time. Making collaborative decisions is not usually a quick process.

So these are going to be my New Year resolutions.

I'd like to be a more effective doctor and a more effective person.

Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here.
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