What is grit? Grit is a word that has seen many arenas. It has been tossed around in the sports, business, and academic worlds to describe the most successful individuals. “Grit” seems to have become synonymous with determination. While determination plays a big role in grit, it does not encompass the whole essence of the word. Angela Duckworth, an author, teacher, and researcher has dedicated much of her life to defining and tapping into grit. She subdivides grit into perseverance and passion. The two go hand-in-hand to produce a purposeful direction in one’s life.
With the reality of burnout and the pressure of physicianship, the duality of grit is increasingly important. The passion aspect of grit begets the motivation that fuels hard work and commitment. A lack of passion—or more commonly, losing sight of it—can make work feel cumbersome. Reflection on passion is a healthy and often necessary way to maintain determination, especially during setbacks. Reaffirming one’s passion often comes with a subsequent anastasis of motivation.
Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the grit of our healthcare workers, our students, and our nation has been tested. Long hours, sick loved ones, canceled plans, isolation. Through it all, our alumni and current students have shone. Despite challenges, our graduating medical students matched into stellar residency programs, and our current medical students continue to impress. Our alumni have continued to serve patients and mentor rising students.
The accomplishments and success of the MHP at UF reflects well on both the members and faculty who facilitate it, and grit has everything to do with this success. Whether by selection, instruction, or a combination of both, grit is a part of the MHP and UF COM culture.
UF COM is grateful for your grit and the impact you have made. If interested, you can take an anonymous survey using Angela Duckworth’s Grit Scale to measure your grit at https://angeladuckworth.com/grit-scale. While not a perfect measure, it is a useful tool and an effective predictor.