Friday, April 2, 2010

How to be the best doctor ever? Balance

During my medical school days at Meharry back in the early 1990's, we put on a huge step show every year that was an absolute blast. Every time I think about the time we took to organize, choreograph, rehearse, and then perform the show each year, I shake my head and call my med school classmate Jada R. saying, "Giiiirrrrl! How in the world did we find time to do that? We should've been somewhere studying!" Then we both share a hearty laugh, reminiscing on our extracurricular craziness and the good times we had playing hooky from our course work. It was my first introduction to the real duel between the balance for work and play.

Work/Life Balance

Back then I thought of anything studying and school-related as "work" and everything else as "play." I felt guilty every time something fell into the latter category (but that never stopped me.) Now that I'm a sho' nuf and bona fide grown woman, the fight for top gun position is between work and life. One husband, two children, and fifteen years later, I now know for sure that balance is everything. Revise a paper or take my kids to the park? Work on a lecture or post on my blog? Listen to a medical journal podcast on my iPod or Usher's newest release? What's a Grady doctor to do?

Work vs. everything else. No matter who you are and what you call it, you need fair amounts of both. Too much of either is no good, and not enough of either is a recipe for disaster. If you're lucky enough to find ways to get work and life to harmoniously overlap, you've achieved work/life nirvana.

Sho'nuf and Bona Fide Nirvana

A few weeks ago, our current first year medical students put together an amazing "class video" for their annual talent show. It perfectly underscores a great work/play nirvana overlap. It warmed my heart to see our hard working medical students learning early that you must take a moment for a little bit of fun. (This can be especially hard for us doctors.)

We try our hardest to get everything right. . . .and that can get kind of heavy. But no matter how busy you get, every now and then it's good to stop what you're doing and just have some fun. And that's exactly what our students did. . . .check out this link below (and see how diverse the class is!)
Click this link below:

The legacy lives on: Harmonious overlap
Me dusting off my step shoes and teaching med students to "step". . .
. . . . and about work/life balance

(By the way, the good news is that students who participate in "extracurricular craziness" indeed grow up to be upstanding, board-certified physicians and role models. Eh hem. . . . trust me on this.)

Bonus Footage courtesy of a YouTube search:

More of the legacy living on: Meharry Medical and Dental Students participating in the 2007 version of the campus step show (now a much smaller event, but still appears to be just as much fun as we had back in '95!) YES. These are ALL medical students and dental students, hey or medical doctors and dentists by now!

For those unfamiliar, Meharry Medical College (my alma mater) is one of the oldest historically black medical school and academic medical center in the US. This clip is of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority--who I must admit, I'm partial to since I'm a Delta girl. :) Yep, folks, that was what we were doing during those prolonged study breaks! Would have shown you our (awesome, hello?!) step show from '95, but that was in a pre-historic and pre-youtube era! Enjoy this very good (but clearly inferior) substitute!

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. I was all work as a resident and fellow. My work/life balance was put in a state of chaos when my marriage ended. I had to take care of three children (including my little girl's hair) and maintain my job in a cardiology practice. I am not sure if it is balanced as it feels like 100% in both jobs. . . .

    I do enjoy both, but it reminds me of my Grady experience; the best and worst time in my life. Well, it is time to fix breakfast for the troop!


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