by Kavitha Ranganathan, MD
University of Michigan
Although surgical specialties often seem to attract extroverted individuals who are somehow born with an innate sense of leadership and authority, introverts can also thrive in these fields. As an introvert myself, below are some resources that I have found immensely helpful.
- Ted Talk: Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are, by Amy Cuddy
In this 20 minute Ted Talk, Amy Cuddy discusses the “power pose,” as a means of invoking confidence. While the “fake it ‘til you make it,” philosophy may or may not be scientifically proven, it has certainly worked for me. Understanding differences in self-perception and presentation can be the key to confidence before presentations and important events.
- Harvard Business Review Ideacast Podcast
In this series of podcasts, the Harvard Business Review group discusses ways to become a better listener, foster creativity in teams, manage groups of people, and exercise effective leadership. Although commonly focused on business-specific topics, these same principles are critically important in surgical fields. By developing the skills that the HBR Ideacast hones in on, surgeons can cultivate the qualities that stimulate team work and efficiency on a daily basis.
- Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success
As someone who was told she is too nice to do surgery, this resource was true validation. Although some approach academics with a “survival of the fittest” mentality which assumes that we are all “swimming with sharks,” this book highlights that the most successful people are those that share their successes and mentor others to success as well. Refer to this resource to understand the importance of helping others as an indirect means to stimulate your own career. AKA there is no such thing as “too nice for surgery.”
Good luck to you, my fellow introverts!
Kavitha Ranganathan, MD