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How What I Did Today Can Be Better Tomorrow

Cecille Gumabon, in addition to be a Physician Assistant who survived a very long year on the job during a pandemic, is a phenomenal writer and inspiration. As she talks about her experience and perspective on the topic of growth, she touches on her life in the medical field, and her plans to build community in the coming year.

This month's theme is all about growth. Tell us about how you define growth, and how you stay committed to a growth mindset through your work.

Growth is a process, where what you have learned and what you know are always changing into something you do and something you can share. My work in medicine is defined as a practice or even an art and my commitment is rooted in taking a moment to ask how what I did today can be better tomorrow before immediately practicing new changes and ideas.

At OutGrowth, we are committed to providing others with the tools for true growth. What do you think we as individuals can do to begin our growth journey today?

I am a big advocate of creating time and space to think things through. It's so easy to get caught up in a rhythm that your actions become reactionary rather than revolutionary. Taking a complete deep breath before you say or do something is important and worthwhile.

Tell us about your most significant professional moment to date.

I was working a night shift when I had to evaluate more than 5 patients for hospital admission on my own. Obviously I was free to call the physician to talk each one through but I was on site alone and I had a sick feeling in my stomach as I worried about whether or not I could do what I had been trained to do independently. I remember telling myself to just start with one. After finishing up with one, I went on to the next one. Throughout the night I was asked a few times to add another one to the list of patients to see. I was proud of myself when I said that I would do what I could as safely as possible with the time I would need for each patient.

How did this experience change the course of your life, your career or your outlook?

I learned the value of asking for what you need to be successful rather than just accepting what gets thrown at you.

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

You can't plan for every outcome, you can only do your best.

What is your favorite quote or song lyric?

"In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers." Fred Rogers

At OutGrowth, we believe in preparing the next generation of leaders. Based on your experience to date, what are the top three career competencies that you believe are essential in 2022?

1. Read. I know, I know, who has the time? But how else are you going to learn new things?

2. Recognize your value. Track your productivity, don't be afraid to ask for feedback, clarify expectations and think hard about how well you meet them.

3. Know how to give constructive criticism. Emphasis on constructive. It's easy to point out what's wrong, it harder to come up with solutions/suggestions and offering them without condescension.

What's next? What are your next steps toward growth in 2021/2?

One of the ways to grow is to build community. Some acquaintances have started a Baltimore chapter of the NAAAP and I'd like to construct a workshop to offer. And as a friend and fellow contributor has pointed out, every career benefits from the ability to write well. I'd like to spend more time also writing for my community and profession.

Cecille Gumabon is a Physician Assistant with a passion for service learning and volunteerism. After graduating from NYU, she devoted a year to AmeriCorps in San Francisco before working in non-profits. She later returned to her home state of Maryland to pursue her career in medicine and has a professional background in project management and partnership building.


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