It seems as if
For me, I never really understood these concepts. Even before medical school, I knew that there was no such thing as work-life balance. These discussions on wellness felt like we had to have hard stops between our work and our personal life, and that these two lives do not need to intersect. I know that as a surgical resident, I won’t have the opportunity to separate the work from the play.
Mindfulness, from what I understand, is about being present completely. To relieve stress is its primary aim. But in caring for a patient, it means you are giving your 100% to that patient.
On my Match day, an alum and current surgeon told me that she did not buy into the mindfulness discussions. She felt as if they made her career seem like too much work, and that mindfulness was an opportunity to step away from her career. But what she told me gave me inspiration for my future:
“Surgeons already know what mindfulness is. They see it everyday in the OR. When you’re in the OR, there is nothing else but you, your team and the patient. You’re not sick, you’re not worried about anything else outside the scope of the room. Surgery is about being 100% present from start to finish.”
Her wisdom gives me hope. There is a lot to worry about as a surgical resident or attending. The world doesn’t stop moving. But in that OR, for you and the patient, it does. That is something I can be excited for.