Can You Change Who You Are?

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By Brenda DeBastiani, CRA, FAHRA, BA, RT(R)

My daughter was recently telling me about a book that she is reading, Twenty-Two by Allison Trowbridge. The author encourages the reader to make a list of the qualities that he or she would like to see in a spouse, including specific details about their character, and then the reader should strive to become that person. My friend who was sitting there stated, “You can’t change who you are.” That response caused me to do a lot of thinking: can you change who you are?

I believe that the answer is yes, we can make improvements in ourselves! I agree that our core values probably cannot be easily changed, but we can make improvements on our own character flaws, knowledge deficits, lack of patience, lack of understanding, lack of acceptance, etc. While reflecting on how I became the person that I am now, I thought about all the people whom I have had the pleasure (or displeasure) of working with. Who or what made me realize who I did or did not want to be? Who has influenced me and formed me into the person that I am now? I know that I am now much more accepting, understanding, and knowledgeable than when I first started my career. Life experiences and influential people caused me to change my thoughts and perspectives, shaping me into a better person.

I have had several role models and mentors throughout my career, but my most influential mentor is a Certified Radiology Administrator (CRA) who has inspired me throughout the years to be a better person, a stronger person, and a person who is willing to change. This mentor also put the CRA challenge coin on my desk back in 2007, which prompted me to start studying to earn that CRA credential! I wanted to earn my degree and to continue learning and evolving. Who would I be right now if I had stayed stagnant back then and refused to learn and change? I would not have the same willingness to adapt. I would probably not be a radiology director right now since I would lack the skills and experience necessary to do my job.

I challenge each of you to become the person who you want to be. If you haven’t earned the CRA credential yet, what is stopping you? If you haven’t positively influenced someone else, why is that? You can be that stronger leader. You can be that more positive person and role model. Many management skills and ideas apply to our personal lives, so while studying and learning, you will see that you can transform yourself into that person who you want to be. Be an inspiration to others and encourage them to earn their CRA credential.

If you have any ideas on how I, or any of the other RACC commissioners can better serve you, please let me know. I can be reached at If you are coming to the AHRA Annual Meeting, please visit us at the CRA booth in the exhibit hall (#610). If you are a CRA, please join us at the CRA Alumni Reception (15th Anniversary) on Monday, July 10; click here to RSVP.

Brenda DeBastiani, CRA, FAHRA, BA, RT(R) is the director of imaging at Monongalia General Hospital in Morgantown, WV. She can be reached at


  1. I fully agree that each of us can set a vision for our future self and then a pathway to become the future ‘me’! In my Leadership workshop on Sunday at the AHRA Annual meeting in Anaheim I’ll be exploring and discussing just how to set that vision and start the journey. Look forward to seeing everyone in Anaheim!!

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