This is Blog Post #283
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Remember back when you decided to go to medical school?
You could apply to medical school. OR you could do literally anything else.
You looked in the mirror and recognized you were not like a lot of your friends in school.
- You are smart, quick and enjoy challenges.
- You had really good grades and knew you could work harder than almost anyone else.
- As you contemplated the challenge of medical school, you felt you've got what it takes.
- And you felt called to make a difference; to be a helper and healer.
- You knew this was an extraordinary choice, because so few people came with you to a career in medicine.
- You hoped this choice would enable you to have an extraordinary life.
You chose to become a doctor and here we are.
No matter what stage of your career you are in now, we can agree the choice to become a doctor had a life-long series of unintended consequences. We had only a small understanding of what was in store for us.
In this blog post let me show you
1) A deeper understanding of some of the most difficult aspects of being a doctor
2) And six of our most popular tools to maintain your energy, faith and empathy when things get tough.
Your decision was influenced by a lot of discreet factors ... grades, family expectations, what you thought it would be like to live the life of a doctor ... and earn a physician's salary.
At a deeper level, something else happened at that decision point ... something with permanent consequences for you and your family.
When you chose to become a physician, you also pledged your entire professional life to battling the forces of darkness in this universe:
- And family member's crazed attempts to deal with all of that in their loved ones.
We marshal the forces of LIGHT to help our patients cope ... all the time. We strive to cure when possible - to comfort when we cannot cure. We are helpers in the darkest moments of people's lives. That die was cast years ago with your decision to become a doctor.
That Has Significant Personal Consequences
On one level, this doctor thing is a simple career choice with a linear set of tasks.
- You will go to school learn and practice the technical aspects of your craft and about 30,000 new words
- You will graduate from medical school, residency, fellowship, board certification exams
- You will set up a practice, put down roots and your patients will love you - or at least trust and respect you
AND at the same time, in the moments no one else can witness
- You will be traumatized along the way
- Be incredibly vulnerable to burnout
- Incur double the risk of suicide compared to the non-physician population
The stress of the practice of medicine, of the day to day reality of being a Lightworker, is one of the inescapable core causes of burnout.
- Sometimes the forces of darkness are unexpected and overwhelming - they come rushing in and threaten to knock us out cold.
- Sometimes they represent such tidal wave of darkness, we know we should not be the only ones dealing with magnitude of the onslaught.
- Sometimes they have deep roots in society's failings and unaddressed public health crises. Gun violence, poverty, homelessness and opioids.
- Yet we are often one of the first helpers in the front lines of the battlefield.
In 2018, Elizabeth Métraux published a a stunning article about doctor's struggle to maintain a connection with the forces of light. Rarely does a writer capture the full experience of facing the tsunami like this.
I consider this a MUST READ for all doctors, med students and residents.
Even though you may never experience this level of overwhelm in your career, it is possible that it will happen at some time. Each of us needs to be aware for your own self protection and to reconnect with empathy for our colleagues who put themselves in the line of fire every day.
PLEASE CHECK IT OUT ... and LEAVE A COMMENT:
By Elizabeth Metraux
Six Lightworker Recharge Tools
Here are six of our most popular recharge and refocus tools for Lightworkers like you.
The Ideal Practice Description Process
So you are always building a more Ideal Practice
The Schedule HACK for weekly Life Balance
The Treasure Hunt when you really want to dial in to the good things that also happen during a day with patients
Why Resilience is Never Enough all by itself