“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. People will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou
At The Ohio State University College of Medicine, we are committed to transforming the health of our communities, and one of our goals is to be an inclusive culture where people feel valued. Every day, I take great delight in seeing our staff, faculty and learners working collaboratively and innovatively. Each person’s work, no matter what their job or title, ultimately leads to healing people and saving lives. Nothing could be more valuable.
In academic medicine, then, feeling individual value should come naturally, right?
Not exactly. We face heavy burdens and many responsibilities in our jobs. We work long days. And our own negative self-talk can at times limit our ability to feel that our individual contributions make a difference.
I am sure you have all heard the story of the janitor who, when asked by President Kennedy what his role at NASA was, replied, “I’m helping put a man on the moon!” His wonderful answer speaks volumes about NASA’s culture. Employees clearly understand how their jobs ladder up to an overarching mission. As a result, they feel proud and valued.
My goal with this blog is to be sure you feel like that NASA janitor, that you know that you and your work are extremely valuable, that your contributions are powerful and meaningful, that each day you help the college transform health. I also hope you’ll help others feel the same way. Here are some ways you can do that:
Regularly tell your teammates and colleagues how much you appreciate them. Listen intently. Thank them for an outstanding surgery or project. Congratulate them on years of service. Recognize their accomplishments publicly in department meetings or group emails. Write them notes of praise. Offer them opportunities for development. Tell them how much you enjoy working with them. Make sure they feel valued.
Each and every one of you is important, and I truly value you. It is an honor to work with you and to serve as your dean.
Carol Bradford, MD, MS
Dean, College of Medicine
Leslie H. and Abigail S. Wexner Dean’s Chair in Medicine
Vice President for Health Sciences, Wexner Medical Center