Not everyone can leap tall buildings in a single bound, or be faster than a speeding bullet, but throughout the Health for America fellowship we have had the privilege to see real-life superheroes in action. Nurses have shown superhuman compassion, empathy and endurance. Entrepreneurs have amazed us with their intelligence, professional flexibility and charm. As each of the fellows had developed professionally over the course of the year, we have begun to discover what our own professional superpowers are.
Here are some of our newly found superpowers that we will be taking with us to bring impact to our future work:
May – “My superpower is my ability to think creatively! Maybe sometimes a little too creatively. I am unbounded by traditional ways of doing and thinking. Whether it be in designing materials or brainstorming solutions, I always approach problems with a creative mindset.”
Dan – “My superpower is the power of sight. No, I can't see through walls or see objects from miles away (I actually wear contacts), however I am able to see what is invisible to most other people. Driven by my analytical talents and my natural curiosity, I critically examine the world around me to find the problems and opportunities that no one else sees that are truly worth addressing.”
Amanda - "A mentor of mine once told me that I am "a person who brings hearts together." I like to think of that as both my superpower and my life compass. It's been one of the greatest parts of the fellowship--bringing the hearts of patients, clinicians, and healthcare leaders together around a new idea, a hope for better health.”
Jake – “I take a lot of pride in my cognitive empathy. It is super important to not only listen to what a person is saying, but understand why they are saying it. Specifically in healthcare a person may not have the words to express themselves fully (“I’m really worried about my sugar”) and there is a lot of value to have a mediator who can “translate” to what the clinician needs to hear (“the patient has been feeling symptoms that might mean their blood glucose is out of control”)”
Stay tuned as the fellowship winds down and we each figure out how we will be applying our superpowers in the coming months and years.