Personal Values

During a professional development course in my first year of PT school, we completed an activity that ranked a list of personal values to determine which 3 values were most important to me. I found that my top 3 values were skill, altruism, and creativity.

I wasn’t too surprised by my results. I feel that these 3 top values are truly top values of mine and do a very accurate job in defining me. A few other values that didn’t quite make the cut but are important to me include health, loyalty, and knowledge.

One instance in which my values helped me battle through a tough situation is when I overcame my series of back injuries. In high school, I suffered 2 slipped discs in my low back resulting in chronic back pain that lasted for over 2 years. Without going to a physical therapist, I did a lot of research on the spine, and experimented with different treatments to try and get rid of my back pain. I used my love for learning and becoming good at doing things to become very knowledgeable in area of back pain and spinal pathologies.

When my personal values are challenged, I stay strong in my what I believe, but I also consider other people’s values in making decisions. I’m a little bit more careful in standing my ground against a stranger in order to avoid being rude, but if I’m arguing with family or friends about personal values, I don’t hold back in expressing myself. Also, I would be especially careful when working with a patient whose values didn’t quite line up with mine. I would keep an open mind and try to explain to the patient why I believe in what I believe.

This exercise allowed me to think about and reflect on my values and beliefs. I will keep these in mind as I progress through my years in the DPT program and in the future when I begin working as a physical therapist.

One thought on “Personal Values

  1. Emir –
    This is another insightful post. Your description of when you hold back vs fully engage in a values based discussion is telling. Having the ability to assess your audience and the situation accurately is key to adapting to the needs of your patient. It is worthwhile to size up the risks and benefits of a values based conversation and then decide how to respond. You may find some patient situations / conversations that justify sharing your thoughts even when they are in conflict with those of your patient. However, in casual conversation I would agree totally that a restrained approach and a tone of neutrality is key!
    Good work!

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