Whether you are 1 day old or celebrating your 90th birthday, you are our patient. Which means we have to know a lot about diseases. We have to know about how drugs work, as we have to make sure the therapies we give you do not interact with the medicines other physicians have prescribed to you. No disease exists that we do not have to know something about, because you all are in our care.
You cannot work in medicine today without being inundated with burnout statistics and commentary on your feed, coming to your inbox, or spoken from stages about the state of medicine we are in. The data is dire: we are disengaged, we are making mistakes, we are not heard, and we are not empowered to make decisions.
As a woman in medicine, where the odds for pay, promotion and leadership are stacked against me, I feel obligated to light the path for younger women who come behind me. It has taken me a while to be comfortable with my style of leadership, own my own voice, be able to regroup after rejection, and tolerate feeling on display and yet often invisible.
I don’t think our current level of burnout is hopeless, and I sure as heck don’t think we should give up. I am passionate about taking a step back and evaluating how we got here, and what we can change.
If anyone has similar experiences while pulling into your garage, please let me know. I am interested in studying this unknown disease and figuring out ways to combat it. Surely, somewhere, there is someone who pulls in, jumps out of his or her car with total glee, walks in and says “Honey! I’m home!”
For the rest of us, there is hope. It’s called retirement. And graduation. In the meantime, I’ve stashed dark chocolate almonds in the console of my car.
When you want to grow a muscle, you have to damage it first. You have to lift something heavy and over extend it. It’s sore for a few days - and then it grows stronger …This is what happened to my heart this week.
Sometimes we let ‘weeds’ - very small but negative distractions, creep up and take a strong hold and become intertwined in our lives. The weeds that are obvious – different color, textures, ugly, we pull immediately when they are small. The weeds that say: I don’t belong here – those are easy to pull.