Below are the episode show notes and transcript. Some episode transcripts have been edited more than others, but they are up in the meantime to help those who would rather read and for searchability on the web. Extensive editing has not been prioritized as I seek to both produce regular content and maintain my own wellness. Enjoy!

Show Notes

It’s not all about you…learning, that is.

The changes from learning may be within you at first, but action and growth orientations are essential to making learning profitable for your life.

Check out today’s episode to learn more and consider how it might affect your learning and wellness today!

Today’s Sponsor: White Coat Investor courses – Looking for a course with lectures and CME around financial literacy and wellness? Check out a course today. Click Here


There’s a reason you don’t stay in the classroom forever. Undergrad. First two years of medical school. Typically you’ve got to then get out there and put some things into practice. If you want to see how learning action and growth can affect your wellness now and in the future, stick around for the rest of today’s episode.

Welcome to the MedEdWell podcast, where physicians get empowered to take the next step in their wellness, personally, professionally and financially. I’m your host, Dr. Ryan Stegink, a practicing general pediatrician and online entrepreneur. We’re already on episode 13 and I am so excited to have you join me. My goal is to help physicians with their wellness personally, professionally and financially. I want to encourage you to prioritize your wellness and thanks for making the time to invest in yourself. By listening to this podcast. Today is the second part in our series on learning episode 12, we talked about, well, the what and the how of learning both in medicine, outside, maybe hobbies or other interests, and then getting into the mechanisms and underlying principles that will help solidify the concepts you’re trying to retain today. We’re covering more of the why the moving forward, how should this change things for you, maybe your motivation or your priorities around learning.

I’ll give you my top three reasons to be learning, and then I’ll leave you with a challenge. But first let’s hear from today’s sponsor. Getting financial education seems daunting until you realize that you did way harder things in medical training, the white coat investor has been promoting financial literacy for doctors since 2011 and has great courses to help you make a financial plan, evaluate financial advice and pursue your wellness. CME is included on some of the courses, making them a perfect fit for those unused professional funds. I have personally taken the fire, your financial advisor course and found it super valuable in my own financial education. I encourage you to visit the link in the show notes and consider signing up for a white coat investor course today. And now back to today’s show. So why should you be learning? What are the goals and orientation that should guide this process?

First, you need to learn for action. You can learn for learning sake and it can be intellectually stimulating. I really enjoy this, but a question that I need to ask myself regularly is is this something that I could share with someone else, maybe write a summary of it, share a study guide, write a blog post, or give a talk. Some of the things that I remember the most are things that I’ve intentionally tried to learn and then pass on to medical students, staff, other colleagues, personally, I enjoy learning about a lot of things. In episode 12, we talked about my summer reading program as a child, going to the local library. And I have a lot of books that I still need to read that I’ve acquired more digital than print, but had digress. I enjoy learning and reading about different topics, medicine, technology, spiritual things, personal growth automation.

One of the things that I’ve really enjoyed is the automation, especially with an easy to grasp spreadsheet crossed with a database program called air table. So there’s a point to this. I promise stick with me. So using the shortcuts app on my iPad, there are fancy ways API calls and such to make data go back and forth from my iPad to this database. So I know a lot of Spanish and I’m still learning new words. And with this air table shortcuts combo, I essentially made a spaced repetition, custom language testing thing. You don’t really want to know how long that all took. It was hours and hours of time, much of which was before my daughter was born, but there was a lot of time that I invested in it, learning about how the system works, how to make rest API calls from shortcuts. So is it worth it looking back?

I think so it helps me review new vocabulary words and it definitely has helped me connect with patients more in clinic, but it probably needed some more guardrails. And these are things that I learned in my medical record optimization training, that something already exists that’s close enough to what you need. Let’s start there rather than recreating things. So are there plenty of language apps? Yes. Are there spaced repetition flashcard apps? Yes. Did they do what I want? Maybe? Is it more clunky? Probably. How much time will it take to make what I want? Do I need to plan out the steps better before starting this time? Does my timeline need to be longer? Even if you say yes, I want to do this. I want to share a cautionary piece of feedback I received from my wife, which was really wise. She asked, how does this particular thing help or affect our family?

In other words, is it more internally focused or something that helps others or helps me serve others around me? Sure. I can do some of these things, but the timeline may be much longer if it’s just for me, learning about things can be helpful at one level, but to make it more worthwhile for yourself and others, there needs to be action. So this can also be applied in medicine, how you learn about different things and put them into practice, which leads right into the next aspect of orienting yourself towards learning, learn for your own growth in medicine, there’s proactive learning, staying on top of the new literature or studying for boards. There is also a reactive learning to help you with what your patients need from you. Both are important, but take time to consider how the new things you read might inform or affect your practice, how you approach a particular chief complaint, how you ask your questions, how you do a procedure, you do continuing medical education eligible lectures.

You go to conferences, read journal articles because you know that if you stay where you are, you’ll be left behind. There’s so much new information coming out, whether new asthma guidelines for pediatrics, the latest data around them, particular, minimally invasive surgical procedure. That it’s really easy to get behind. If you don’t make a plan for regular engagement with this material personally, I see this in my own life. When this episode releases I’m coming up on my sixth wedding anniversary, I love my wife and I’ve learned a lot about her. Since we got married things, she appreciates things that drive her nuts, the type of movies she likes. If I were to experience life with her over these last six years and do nothing differently, I would be in big trouble. Now I still have lots to learn about my wife and lots of areas in which to grow, but by learning about her, what she likes and doesn’t like how I can serve her and help her out around the house.

I know how to love her better. I have become a different person. I have grown. So first learn for action, learn to do something with it. Number two, learn to grow. Don’t stay stagnant. And number three, learn for the future. Learn for the future. This means consider the end where you want to end up. How do you want to be able to look back and say, yes, I was able to accomplish that because of what I learned. I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on legacy and priorities a lot in the last month or so having attended two funerals, my friend was a physical therapist who had his own practice and loved people. Well, he learned his craft. Well, he learned about being a good entrepreneur and he learned about people and to hear people speak at his funeral, he really left a legacy. My grandmother was a huge part of my family and she too left a legacy, not only in my family, but in the lives of other seniors she visited.

Singing in choir, starting a school for girls in French west Africa in the 1950s and teaching right out of high school in rural Canada, during world war II, she learned things and applied them. She grew and she learned for the future leaving a mark on so many different people. She also learned for the future by learning typing skills as a young woman, ultimately being able to use that, to learn how to use a computer after age 70, which she then used to communicate with friends around the world via email and especially her grandkids. I was very blessed to have her as one of my grandmothers. So where does this all leave you today? Reflect and think about where your learning is right now. Does it move you to action and growth? Is it oriented around future impact? Think of the lives you would affect in your own practice by even taking small steps towards this shift in your mindset, the number of people he might impact in your family, your community.

Life is short. Consider what’s important, how you are gifted, what you have to offer and then get out there and make a difference. You might be amazed at how this helps you take steps forward in your personal and professional wellness.

Thank you so much for joining me here on another episode of the MedEdWell podcast. If you found this helpful, please leave a review and share with a friend or another physician. You know, if your next step in learning is to learn more about wellness and finances, check out one of the white coat investor courses at the link in the show notes. Thank you for your support in tuning into another episode of the med ed, well podcast, please come back and join for the next episode and have a great day.