94/365: Afternoon SoloAfternoon Solo/#94/Nikon D7000/24mm/Beijing/ China

163/365: Tokyo MorningTokyo Morning/#163/Nikon D7000/35mm/Asakusa/Tokyo/Japan

174/365: buttonsButtons/#174/Olympus Pen FV/38mm/Fuji Across 100/Asakusa/Tokyo/Japan

164/365: ErrandsErrands/#164/D7000/24mm/Beijing/China

145/365: Moma FamilyMoma Family/#145/D7000/24mm/Dongzhimen/Beijing/China

142/365: Bao Chao Mian PortraitBaochao Mian Portrait/#142/Nikon D7000/35mm/Baochao Hutong/Beijing/China

140/365: Subway StairsSubway Stairs/#140/Nikon D7000/Beijing/China

130/365: Dynamic RangeDynamic Range/#130/Nikon FE2/Kodak Ektar 100/Jiu Zhai Gou/Sichuan/China

83/365: Great Wall SilhouetteGreat Wall Silhouette/#83/Nikon FE2/Ilford Delta 3200/North of Beijing/China

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my time in Beijing is the importance of vulnerability. A very close friend in Beijing taught me the power of opening up and being honest with other people. Being vulnerable about myself and who I am is something I now realize I have struggled with and been scared to do my entire adult life.

Over my time in China I’ve been grappling with being vulnerable and my confidence, but the former didn’t have a name until recently. I am beginning to grasp what it means to be vulnerable and its ability to create deeper and more authentic connections with people. Only a short time since this epiphany and I already feel a deeper sincerity in my connections to strangers, friends, and family.

Being vulnerable isn’t easy. Writing this blog post is difficult, terrifying really, sharing this idea of opening up, displaying my self-perceived weaknesses, but naming it allows me to understand the problem and work to solve it, endeavor to show the courage to further open up with people. I know that this lesson will make me an infinity better physician in the future. I now understand how important it is to realize vulnerability in my patients, embrace it, and use it to further deepen my relationship with my patients. I also see how crucial it is to be vulnerable with my patients, to show them that I care and give them authenticity in return for their trust. I believe that this will allow for the fostering of genuine collaboration between my patients and me.

Being more vulnerable with people will allow for a more real and deeper rapport to be built with not only my patients, but also everyone I interact with for the rest of my life. It has taken me 26 years to realize that the fear and anxiety I associated with being vulnerable is the most human way to create connection. It’s funny how things keep coming back to a David Foster Wallace quote:

“The most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.~David Foster Wallace, “This is Water” commencement speech

Thank you Nicole, you’ve changed the way I look at life. I wish you all the luck back in the States.

The Ted Talk that started it all: Brene Brown discussing “The Power of Vulnerability.


3 thoughts on “Vulnerability

    • Hey Dr. Williams, Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I am honored and humbled that you would share it with other classes at Rush. If anyone is interested in learning more about the Fogarty Fellowship or have any questions about what I’ve been doing in China please pass them my email:

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