Growing up, I remember my father who is an OBGYN working a lot. I knew he wanted to provide a good life for his family and offer his children opportunities he didn’t have during his childhood and adulthood. He really loved working and teaching at the hospital and at clinic and spent countless hours being the best physician he could be for his patients. He didn’t have many hobbies or extracurricular activities and didn’t socialize much except with his family. He really loved being a doctor. I really have admired his work ethic over the years. When he retired a few years ago, I could tell that without medicine a big part of him was missing.
Early in my career, I recognized that I loved being a part of this profession but if I wasn’t careful about setting boundaries, I would have no time for anything else in my life including a family. I can still remember immersing my whole day into studying and doing research. I did not want the pattern of getting up early to work, working all day, coming home and working. I have always known that although it is a gift/blessing to be a physician, there are so many other aspects to who I am as a person.
-I ❤️ sports and fitness (tennis, skating, running, cycling)
-I ❤️ the ARTS (the ballet, theater)
-I ❤️ music
-I ❤️ performing/dancing
-I ❤️ blogging and participating in media education
-I ❤️ being part of education, mentoring and teaching
-I ❤️ spending time with people I love and care about
I know that I am more than my profession and having other things that bring me joy in my life ultimately makes me a better provider. Earlier this year, my internist who is also a single mother spoke with me while I was at my annual exam.
She looked at me and told me to promise her that I would always make time for myself and for my child no matter what.
She confirmed that I can be a great physician without sacrificing all the other parts of my life that make me unique and keep me emotionally healthy. I took that to heart and her words stuck with me.
BOTTOM LINE: I am a whole person.
Every part of me is integral in fitting into my complete puzzle.
I don’t have to be one thing. I need ALL of the pieces!