What Type of Student Are You?

What Type of Student Are You?

Do the grades we receive in school define who we are therefore affecting who we will become? Does being an “A” student mold you into becoming a great doctor? Dr. Bell explores what it means to be an “A” student as opposed to being a “C” student and what it could mean for your future. What do your grades say about you? Find out the answers by reading below.


Every now and then, if you are paying attention, a bit of wisdom will present itself.  Such was the case many years ago, when I was in a parent-teacher conference with my daughter’s 4th grade teacher.   During our discussion, the teacher casually stated something quite profound.  “The A students understand the C students, but the C students don’t understand the A students”.  


Let that sink in.  It is a statement that stayed with me since I first heard it, and over the years, I have witnessed the concept applied well beyond the confines of a 4th grade classroom.  This notion is not one that is intended to denigrate or disparage but speaks more to the abstract, and in my interpretation, this includes compassion, responsibility, and empathy.   The “A” student category implies achievement and abilities that are at a higher level, but within this group are those who are “gifted” while others are “grinders”, those who persevere and develop their skills.  Using the intellectual skills and the benefits that can come with such gifts often comes with increased responsibilities to others, whether through leadership roles, philanthropy or some other service to others who may be less fortunate. 


The “C” student category is the area within the bell curve where most reside, and a different perspective on life when compared to the “A” students could be expected.  This is not to say that members of this group are any less capable of accomplishing great things, especially in the service to others.   Many “late-bloomers” fall into this group and achieve successes that are immeasurable.  It is the journey that likely offers the starkest contrasts between the “A” and the “C” students, especially when academia is the earliest way to measure “success” as we grow from childhood into adulthood.


As physicians, we have attained certain levels of success and many of us can likely identify with having been categorized within the “A” student group at some point in our lives.  Looking back on your life and career, how did you develop and ultimately use your abilities?  Did you focus solely on yourself, or did you take time to mentor others?  Did you volunteer? Did you create something that benefitted your profession and patients?  


Being an “A” student ultimately means being able to recognize your gifts, while understanding the struggles of others who may not share your intellectual capacity.  This is what empathy and compassion entail.  Awareness or understanding of another’s thoughts and feelings (empathy), and a desire to mitigate their pain and suffering (compassion), is the difference between excellence and average, the difference between an “A” student and a “C” student, or an outstanding physician and an mediocre one.  What type of student are you?  It really has little to do with grades.    


To read more of Dr. Desmond Bell's blog "The Script Pad" go to https://mymdcoaches.com/blog.

MD Coaches, LLC is a company dedicated to developing and empowering physicians to realize a greater satisfaction in their roles. Understanding the challenges and operational concerns for both physicians and hospital administrators. MD Coaches utilizes experience and coaching skills to support their physician clients in establishing strategies for positive career progression.


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