WASHINGTON, D.C.—Kerry Broderick, MD, FACEP, professor of emergency medicine at Denver Health Medical Center, has a simple list to be successful: Define. Engage. Listen. Action. Closure.
Define what success means on a task, then engage whoever is necessary to reach saidgoal. Listen to stakeholders’ thoughts and be flexible if necessary. Take action to effectuate the goal. Then, reflect on the closure of the process: did success happen? And perhaps most importantly, identify those things that interrupt the process, Dr. Broderick said in her session, “Top 5 Habits of Highly Successful Emergency Physicians.”
“Identifying self-defeating behaviors is super important,” she said. “We all have [them]. And I think if you don’t look at yourself, what your own self-defeating behaviors are, and address those, then you’re really never going to be successful because you’re always tripping over yourself.”
Dr. Broderick frames success in the story of how she set out to improve the educational content at ACEP meetings. Years ago, she felt too many sessions were “too basic.” That’s how she defined the problem. Then she engaged by getting involved in ACEP’s education committee. She listened to others about how sessions were put together and, with that feedback, helped push for the action of creating the shorter, “rapid fire” sessions that are now commonplace at the meeting.
As for the closure part, well, the round of applause she got for saying she helped shorten most lectures would seem to be the imprimatur of success.
“You can do this on a shift, right?” Dr. Broderick said. “You can walk into the shift and say, ‘Today, I want to have a successful shift.’ But what does that mean? Does it mean, ‘Today, I want to be more compassionate’? Does it mean, ‘I want to learn something in this shift’?… What is it? And then start down the path of doing it.”Dr. Broderick also suggests emergency physicians reach for goals they’ll sometimes miss. She recounts the story of having joined an executive council at Denver Health so she could better connect her colleagues to the University of Colorado Denver’s leadership. So she got elected secretary of the council.
“My reach was a little too big,” Dr. Broderick said. “My goal was that we would be more involved at a higher level with the executive branch of the university, but I didn’t really understand the rules of engagement. So shame on me. I didn’t research it.”