Hello, my name is Dustin and I am a Yes-aholic. Ever since I entered undergrad at UCSD, I have had this problem. I say yes to almost every opportunity presented in front of me. “Overinvolved” would be a good word to describe my 4 years there. Once I joined a group or started a job I would work myself much harder than I should have. My first job freshman year was at a dining hall. The maximum number of hours a student could work was 19.5 hours. I worked 19 hours almost every week. I didn’t “need” the money, I was just addicted to saying yes. My normal work hours only totaled 9 hours a week but I would accept the shifts offered to me by other students. Bussing tables and washing dishes was how I spent my weekend nights. My next job as a resident advisor encountered a similar situation. I spent 2 thanksgivings working in the housing office so that everyone else could go home and spend time with their families.
In my several clubs, like the Black Student Union and Hughes Scholars program, I would attend all the events even if I had important studying to do. Being a yes-aholic has followed me into medical school. At one point, I had 3 research projects, 3 clubs coordinator positions, and a job. Thank the medical school gods that UCLA has a Pass/Fail curriculum. Going into third year I have decided to quit my addiction. There will be no club participation and only one research project allowed at a time. I must focus my yes-ing towards volunteering to do anything asked of me by my residents and attendings during my rotations. Whether it is closing up an operation or disimpacting a bowel I will say YES! In order to become an integral part of my medicine team it is important to assimilate seamlessly into the role of 3rd year medical student. Though the addiction remains, it will channeled towards more productive medical tasks.