What are you passionate about? For me professionally, it’s helping doctors embrace patient experience as the way forward in their practices. Personally, it’s Michigan football. As in the University of Michigan, led by Coach Jim Harbaugh. The amount of time I spend following the team is irrational. I have a few items of memorabilia, including a paper stadium miniature replica of Michigan Stadium (aka “the Big House”) that I commissioned along with a second one that I sent to Coach Harbaugh as a thank you for restoring the football program to glory. Yes, I’m an obsessed fan.
Beyond their passion for practicing medicine, most doctors I meet have one or more things they are passionate about. I encourage you to let that passion be part of your practice. Rather than hide it (unless it’s something really weird), letting patients know what you personally enjoy helps humanize you. It makes you relatable outside of what you already do to help people improve their health and lives.
Some doctors I’ve met are artists or photographers. Others are into mountain climbing or flying planes. Many enjoy mission trips to perform surgery in other countries. A surgeon I work closely with is into all things Italy (and was a great help in planning our recent trip). Whatever your passion, let it shine.
Why is this so important? Simply because consumers make decisions increasingly based on shared values. What I mean by this is that they are moving beyond “I like that” to also incorporate the sentiment “I’m like that” as they determine how to spend money. (Credit to writer Virginia Postrel for this distinction). Exhibiting what you are passionate about offers another avenue for patients to connect with you and your practice. It’s part of what makes your authentic self.
This weekend I will be rooting hard as Michigan takes on in-state rival Michigan State. The Wolverines are looking to keep their unbeaten streak alive, repeat as Big 10 champions, and make the college playoffs. Go Blue!
May you celebrate your passion and let those in your world know about it!