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Blog entry by Glocal Academy



Turning the pages of literature and finding the roots and journey of words (Etymology) is a fun thing to do, at least for me. The journey of a 14th century word INTEGRITY is my focus here. It evolved from a Latin adjective meaning Integer (as we use in Mathematics) which means whole or complete. Going in a philosophical path we discuss Integrity as a sense of “wholeness” deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character.

The intriguing question here is, is it worthwhile to go deep into this word amid our busy lives? To answer this, I turn to the insights shared by enthusiastic followers of Glocal Academy Instagram page. Most of them described Integrity as being honest, having strong moral principles and ethics, being authentic, being genuine, being ourselves and being straightforward regardless of the situation. Some of them went further and questioned themselves, “How do we maintain our INTEGRITY?” and answered it, saying “By having the power and courage to never compromise on our values that we’ve laid for ourselves”  

Integrity is like the cement that holds the bricks on the walls bound together. Integrity pushes us to act on the values we chose. For us (Doctors) it lies in our Hippocratic Oath where we promise to commit ourselves to uphold the values we chose. For instance, the values I uphold are being a good listener, being honest, being reliable and to treat patients with empathy and care.

Practicing integrity can be challenging. The New York Times #1 Bestselling Author and World’s leading high-performance coach Brendon Burchard came up with the following SIX practises of Integrity.  

  1. Think before you act

  2. Never commit to anything where we lack passion

  3. Keep your word

  4. Always treat others with respect

  5. Tell the truth

  6. Always favour action. 

None of these six practices require anything extraordinary but it's our day to day failures in maintaining them that cause most of our sufferings. 

Leaders such as Mandela, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Lincoln and many others are admired universally because of their integrity-based principles.

I have started practicing Integrity by putting some of these practices into action.

Never commit to anything where we lack passion 

As a student I used to have many self-doubts such as, what if I didn't reach the expected result? What if I miss the deadline? Will I be able to keep up my promises? etc., and I realized that I hardly used to say "NO" to someone because I felt that they would think bad of me and that used to stress me a lot. As time passed I have realised that saying yes to everything and completing half of them is not going to do any good and I started saying no to the things which I am not interested in  and made sure that when said yes , I am really going to do it . By doing that, I'm not only trustworthy among my friends and professors but also with me, which I feel is more important.

Tell the truth 

I try hard not to fail in this aspect. Sometimes it's difficult to express how we really feel about something but being honest to ourselves is really important. Once a mentor of mine gave me a task to work on and I felt it's not going to be that productive and yes! I was scared to express my thoughts with him. Later I decided to give it a try and expressed my worries in a polite manner, to which he agreed happily with me and suggested to do something else.

As a medical student it is important for me to say " I don’t know " when a patient or a family member asks me something and I don’t know the answer. Since I know that I am responsible for my oath which states " Do No Harm ".

Reflective Question:

  1. How are you practicing Integrity?


Chinmaya Sreya Perabathula

Second Year Medical Student

Government Medical College, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh.

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