family practice issues and general life events

Posts tagged ‘new year’

Attitude makes all the difference

As I look all over social media today, I am noticing a pattern.  Well two patterns in one.  There are those that are hopeful and those that are not.  These are people I know from various times in my life, and ones that I know only online.  People I see everyday, some that I have never seen and others that I used to see.  Apparently 2011 really sucked and was the best year ever.  2012 is a time for change, for growth, and to stay the same.  Or maybe it is just a year that won’t “suck as bad as the one just finished.”  I am not trying to judge.  I don’t live their lives.  I don’t have their challenges,  but at the same time I wonder, wonder if maybe just attempting to be happier they would be.

This is not for everyone.  Some have lived tragedy that I don’t even want to imagine.  Yet, many of those attempt to be as positive as they can be.  Whether it is for their children, for their friends, or maybe it is the only way they can get through life.  

Others common everyday problems are a major catastrophe.  The dog vomited on the floor and they stepped in it in the middle of the dark is proof that the world is a terrible place.  (Stepped in dog vomit myself, not pleasant, but it is life.)  And maybe that is an unfair oversimplification, but most of you know the type of person I am talking about.  And all of us, are sometimes that way.  But really if everything is a super tragedy, what happens when a real tragedy struck.

Last night was New Year’s Eve, and I went to bed at 10 pm.  Real party animal, but my husband was working in the Emergency Room and I had two adorable boys to take care of and frankly watching the ball dropped lost its thrill a while ago.  So I stayed in.

I live a life of privilege.  It is hard to justify complaining some days, when I know others that have it much worse.  I work for what I have, and holidays are not a given.  Sometimes I have to miss out on school events for my kids, in order to take care of my patients in the office.  And while I don’t take call, my husband does as well as pulling shifts in the ER to help make up for the debt accumulated in medical school and starting a business.  And all of this allows us to take trips where we want.  And to enjoy things in life, that I never experienced before becoming a doctor 

New years tends to be a day for reflection and introspection.  A chance for a new start and a clean slate.  And maybe it should be, but maybe without the expectation that just because the ball dropped at midnight, everything is now shiny and new.  Wars, sickness, disease and your day to day problems do not go away just because the clock strikes midnight.  While it is a great thing to be hopeful for the new year, it should not be done with false expectations.  Life can be good if we let it, but often the best things in life take hard work and determination to achieve.  Being lucky usually requires hard work and determination to make it so you can be in the right place for that luck to happen.

And a lot does ride on your attitude.  People who are confident with their abilities tend to be more successful.  Those who look at setbacks not as failures, but at learning experiences see to be able to achieve more, to overcome more.  While there is nothing wrong with prayers and hopes and dreams, failure to act with those will not lead you to success.  Wishing without determination or drive will keep you where you are.  

So my hopes for all, is for a happy New Year.  I hope it is everything that you wish for it to be.  I hope it is a year that you achieve your goals or at least take the steps that you need to start achieving them.  Remember sometimes success is measured in single steps not miles.  As I write this I am watching my youngest go around the house in the new skates he got for Christmas, learning to balance and picking out what toy he wants to play with next.  For him anything in the world is possible, you only have to dream.  And then go after it on roller skates.  


The beginning of the new year

July is the beginning of the new year, well in medicine at least in terms of training.  (while in some instances the training year might start the middle of June, July is the common cut off point)  Nursing schools start their new programs, medical schools start the rotations, and residencies start their training.


If you go to a teaching hospital, in some ways this could be scary.  The “nurse” could just be starting their rotations and a freshly graduated doctor might be the ones giving the “orders”  Well, usually those orders are more like requests, because after 4 years of medical school, while you have the title doctor attached to your name, your true training has begun.  The two years of classes and two years of rotations have nothing on the training that you are about to learn.


These newly minted doctors do not have their licenses yet, and cannot practice on their own, so there is another doctor, an attending, constantly looking over their shoulder for the year.  Hopefully understanding, at least initially, and always teaching them.  However, there is never a more watched group of people.  While still in medical school, patients don’t expect much from the student (Sorry to those that are insulted, but from the aspect of the student you are still learning).  However, once that title is attached to your name, you are a doctor, and even though 2 months ago you had the same knowledge in your head, you did not have the same expectations laid upon you.  The newly minted doctor is practicing under someone else’s license and that makes all the difference in the world.


There is nothing scarier than the first code you experience as a doctor.  If anyone remembers the first year of the show “Scrubs” where the newly minted doctors were hiding in a linen closet, well that is accurate, at least in that is how many would like to act.  Because a code is stressful, and unlike many other aspects in medicine it is truly life and death, and you are expected to know and command the situation.  At least initially, I stuck to chest compressions, I knew how to do that.  However, as training goes on, you have to learn to lead, to command, to be a physician.


The year is scary, it is stressful, and yet, I don’t think there was any year of my life which I learned more.  It is a necessary trial by fire, because in three short years, you will no longer have backup, those patients become your patients.  And they are all looking to you.  So good luck, new residents.  Take advantage of the learning experience.  Live the “See one, do one, teach one,”  mantra.  After all people will be looking to you in the future to continue the grand tradition.

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