Responding to Criticism! - Life improvement strategies for the surgeon who wants more ... in 10 minutes - Episode 39

Pump the brakes on your week and take 10 minutes to make your life as a surgeon just a little better…

Jeff welcomes to the SurgeonMasters mini-podcast orthopaedic surgeon and current hand fellow at Thomas Jefferson University, Paulvalery (Paul) Roulette, MD. The topic of discussion in this episode is Responding to Criticism!

Paul describes the importance of feedback and how to respond positively to it. As we all know, receiving criticism and feedback is a regular occurrence for a surgeon, especially during residency and fellowship. In practice, we constantly receive feedback from patients, colleagues, and other members of our teams that impact our success. Irrespective of sender and motive, there is always something we can glean from the message. How we respond can go a long way in determining career satisfaction.

What steps does Paul suggest we do to improve how we respond to criticism?

Here’s what Paul suggests:

  • Step 1 - Divorce Emotion - Listen and truly consider what the other person is saying.

  • Step 2 - Listen Carefully - Capture the other person’s perspective and entertain that at least part of the criticism is true.

  • Step 3 - Return for Feedback - Once you have implemented efforts to incorporate the feedback centered on your strengths and addressing your weaknesses, return to see if the other thinks it is working.

When we respond to criticism positively, we improve our ability to make changes and understand the perspective of others. Responding positively has the ability to solidify relationships, improve our ability to self-assess, and increases the engagement of others in the process.

Most importantly, develop your own personal plan for responding positively to criticism!

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Dr. Paulvalery Roulette, MD is an orthopaedic hand surgery fellow at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. After completing his medical degree at Harvard Medical School, Paul continued his medical career at Carolinas Medical Center, completing an orthopaedic residency in 2018. His clinical time is spent on fractures of the hand, and his research focuses on burnout prevention and well-being. Outside of the delivery of care, his passion is volunteering internationally on humanitarian trips. When he is not caring for patients, Dr. Roulette is spending quality time with his family.