A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.    – Mark Twain

Learning has always been an important part of my life.  As a child, I couldn’t go to sleep unless I read a book first.  I had a limited budget and e-readers were not yet invented, which meant reading some books more than once.  Okay, more than twice.  The Outsiders.  Island of the Blue Dolphins.  Bedknobs and Broomsticks.  I loved fictional stories of adventure, suspense, and life in general.  I enjoyed biographies, historical accounts, and memoires.  Not only did I love to read, I didn’t mind going to school.  I admit it.  I spent many an afternoon at my desk wishing I was already grown up, but I didn’t mind sitting in class.

I’m older now, but I still like to read and learn.  The Virgin Suicides.  The Outliers.  Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.  The Road.  I read all kinds of books…plus medical journals.  Sure, the journals are a little dry.  They certainly won’t make the NY Times best-seller list.  But they are vital to understanding my patients and improving my practice. If I can read and I can network with my colleagues, I learn from the best.   

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.   – Albert Einstein.

I also like to teach.  It is a challenge all its own.  No one will stretch your knowledge more than an eager student asking questions. Deciding to teach means you really need to know your stuff.  Sometimes reading a journal article raises more questions than it answers.  So, I practice.  I Read.  I ask questions.  Then I read some more.  I persist.  Teaching requires courage and a sense of responsibility to the listener.  It also means acknowledging that I don’t have all the answers. 

At the end of it all, good education is packaged in a way that a consumer will understand.  It will be fun.  It will be practical.  If a therapist can use something learned during a course in their clinic the next day, I consider that course a success. 

Ironically, I’m still learning to be a good teacher.  Aren’t we all?