That doctors have one of the difficult paths towards their degrees is already known and having spent a better part of your 20s studying and qualifying to be a licensed practicing doctor is no mean feat. However, in healthcare, as also in life, learning never stops. Not even when they have passed out of med schools spending 5-6 years studying hard. Learning for a doctor never stops. It is one field where ignorance is not bliss.
Why is lifelong learning important for a doctor, you may ask, especially when they have given their 200% in their student years and passed with the required degree? Here’s why.
The world is constantly changing and evolving
This world, more so medically, has seen tremendous change in the past few decades. There are new diseases coming to the fore. There are new discoveries happening. Someone is inventing a new drug for life-threatening diseases. There is new research on deadly viruses. And so on.
You see what doctors have learned in college also needs an upgrade simply because theory and practical scenarios are quite different. They need to learn, unlearn and learn again, procedures, methods, medicines, knowledge – all of it needs to keep evolving too to stay relevant in the field.
Staying updated in the field also means opening yourself to better growth opportunities. Staying updated also makes one competitive enough in a market that’s crowded. From academia to research or high-up in the healthcare sector, there are countless possibilities when one keeps a track of how fast things are changing in their area of specialization and how quickly they can imbibe those changes.
Applying their own learnings as a patient
Over the years as doctors see other doctors in their capacity as a patient, those insights also help bring change in the processes, including talking to a patient and engaging with him through the journey. A jury may be still out on this one though but the learnings from being a patient are very useful when applied to their own practice. This gives them first-hand experience from being on the other side and what’s the other side is expecting from them. Empathy and openness in communication are the key takeaways for them as a patient.
There is a lot of merit in continuing education for doctors as it helps in improving their patient relations, performance equips them with new and latest skills and helps to prevent burnout.
Keep watching this space for more in this series.