Looking Forward BEL Newsletter

10 tips from the BEL for successful transitions

By Bureau of Emerging Leaders


This article is from the April 2022 issue of the Looking Forward BEL newsletter.

Spring brings new changes and challenges, with medical students getting ready to begin rotations, graduations fast approaching, and many new physicians preparing for their next practice.

Members of the AOA Bureau of Emerging Leaders provide the following tips to help you navigate the seasons of change in your career:

  1. Always be present. Whether on clinical rotations, residency interviews, or lectures, being mentally present will help you get the most out of medicine and life.
  2. Don’t dwell on constantly comparing yourself to others. We have different ways of learning, functioning and operating that make us most successful.
  3. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Someone has done this before. Ask for help if you feel stuck and save yourself the trouble. We have all been in that position. Plus, the AOA has tons of great resources for planning every step along your medical journey.
  4. Don’t be afraid to say yes to new challenges and opportunities. In fact, embrace the challenges. They will help you learn more, become better at maneuvering obstacles and excel in the future stages of your career.
  5. Surround yourself with people worthy of emulation.
  6. Challenge yourself to think about where you want be, not where you are. Example: When you’re a medical student, think like an intern. When you’re a senior resident, think like an attending.
  7. Feeling overwhelmed? Take a deep breath and write down what needs to happen. Sometimes the list seems much shorter once it is in writing.
  8. It’s never too early to start planning. If you like to know what’s coming, look ahead and set yourself up for success. Starting early takes the stress out of big changes.
  9. Know your deadlines. If you’re not a planner and looking too far ahead stresses you out, or you have too much on your plate right now, set a date and time that you will tackle that transition problem. Then don’t worry about it and focus on what needs to get done today.
  10. Remember what got you here, what has driven you to this calling, and know that the past version of yourself would be in awe of what you are accomplishing.