She was starting the first of a five-year surgical residency. On that particular Monday morning she was attending her first grand round. In addition to the other four surgical residents in her class, there was the hospital’s chief resident, a general surgery professor from the medical school, three medical students, and a surgical scrub nurse. Grand rounds provided those involved with an opportunity to discuss specific cases, engage in clinical reasoning skills, and share new research information, while making their rounds seeing patients. It was a critical element of surgical training.

She had been on grand rounds before, but this one was different. This time, she was to be an active participant. She was not there to observe; she was there to participate. She was self-confident, and she believed in herself. She wore that self-confidence on the inside, which produced a strong personal assurance. She never wore it on the outside as arrogance. On that morning, she was obviously a bit anxious, but she wasn’t fearful or uneasy. Instead, she was focused and eager. That morning they visited seven patients. All were either in post-op care or awaiting surgery.

Dr. Mike McGough is a retired York College professor who currently works as a leadership consultant.

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