“Third or nothing! Third or nothing!” This is the motto of students in the Puffs, a parody play of the Harry Potter series, told from the perspective of some spectacularly untalented student wizards. The Puffs are one of four houses (the other three are the Brave, Smart, and Snake houses) vying for points in the annual house competition at a certain Magical Academy. Every year, the Puffs place last in the house cup competition, but this year, they are determined to place “Third or nothing!”
When I first considered a career transition from academic medicine to the pharmaceutical industry, it was hard to imagine changing jobs. The hospital I worked at employed many healthcare workers for decades or even their entire careers. I felt disoriented, like the world might fall down: kind of like a Jenga block tower tumbling after pulling out a critical piece.
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I once chaired a meeting in which a new team member had a South Asian name that I found difficult to pronounce. I attempted to pronounce it, then apologized in a lighthearted tone for my mispronunciation. A meeting attendee - who is white - texted me that my joking statement was an offensive microaggression, which prompted me to reflect on how name mispronunciation impacts the workplace.