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You Need a 'PPD Plan' for Personal and Professional Development


Every professional should have a plan to chart their goals, monitor progress, and make changes based on results. This guide will help you start.

Medical professionals learn that the PPD is a skin test for tuberculosis. Medical entrepreneurs should learn that a different kind of PPD, a personal and professional development plan, can help test to see if you are vulnerable to personal and professional disappointment.

Medical students, residents, and practitioners should have a personal and professional development (PPD) plan and monitor progress and make changes based on the results. Much like the lean startup methodology, you will be creating a PPD model canvas, develop hypotheses, do life experiments, and change your perspective and direction based on the results. The model is designed to help you find the right me-world fit and answer some fundamental questions:

1. Where am I now?

2. Where do I want to go or who do I want to become?

3. How do I want to get there?

4. How will I measure my progress?

You should create a PPD model canvas for different domains e.g. personal, professional/career, social, spiritual, and financial aspects of your life. More and more, the traditional career paths and behaviors are not delivering happiness. Consider being values-driven instead.

Here are the elements of the business model canvas that you can adapt for your PPD plan. Here are the elements of your individual development plan. Like the business canvas, your PPD canvas is anchored on your value proposition, the promise you make to yourself and those in your life. From that derives the resources and costs you will need to be happy, the benefits you hypothesize you will realize, and the net results.

Finding the right product-market mix is easier than finding the right me-world fit. However, both take experimentation, perseverance, taking risks, luck, and knowing when to change course. The main difference, though, is one is a destination and the other is a journey. Your PPD can help detect whether you are suffering from affluenza or on a different path.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
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