Our SAGE mentor, Mr. Blackman, has lived a long and adventurous life. He has lived on different continents and had a variety of careers. His life was always on the move and always interesting. Part of what he believes has helped him age well is to keep life interesting. Even in his later years, he continued to travel and experience new cultures. He has a particular fondness for Eastern cultures. The process of learning and experiencing new cultures engaged him physically, in the actual act of travel and exploration and mentally, in learning new things and exposing himself to different cultures. As a person who was always in motion, it makes sense that part of his success in aging was maintaining his identity as a person who always explores and seeks out learning opportunities.
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...while it does not seem like much, having a sense of professionalism about the work that needed to be done helped the group function.
For all the learning we do in the classroom, our most important learning in the medical profession will involve what we directly experience. In our SAGE visits, I learned about healthy aging from the experiences of our mentor, and I learned how to better function in a group of nurses and social workers by having to actually do it. This experience will help me as I go forward in my career. In addition to helping break some of the stereotypes of aging, it also showed me the potential I have to learn from my patients in my interactions with them. I also learn how to function in groups similar to the ones in which I will operate in my career as a physician. This program represented the beginning of my experience-based education in medicine.
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