Awaiting the arrival of joy

How many of you have been waiting for joy to arrive? When do you think it will appear?

Many professions and individuals slip into the mentality that when they get through the current stage or stressor, they will finally find their joy. It’s incredibly prevalent among physicians given the nature of our delayed gratification in training. It’s common to think joy will arrive or be delivered after an accomplishment.


“I finished med school and matched into residency” (peeks outside front door looking for the joy package) “Oh, it must be after I get this tough intern year out of the way.”


 “I finished internship.” (looks out front hoping to see the FedEx delivery person with Joy in hand) “Hmmm, not yet. Likely after my tough ICU rotation where I will learn a ton.”


“I survived ICU!” (checks phone for “Joy package out for delivery” message) “No notification yet, maybe as I get...

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Diving into perfectionism

How many of you in residency feel (felt) that perfection is (was) your standard?  Do you recognize the sensation of defeat or inadequacy when you realize you didn’t execute something flawlessly? Do any of you ruminate on constructive feedback as evidence of failure? For those who are parents, do you always feel less than? Maybe you can glean a couple of small tips from my past growth lessons. (I like that word better than failures).


As a married resident with 2 children and a husband who was also in residency, I realized in order to survive, I quickly had to loosen some standards. 


The first one to go was the house.


A perfectly organized and clean home just couldn’t take priority. Cleaning floors, windows, dusting, went to the bottom of the to do list that was never completed. We had bare minimum standards: dishes had to be at least rinsed off while awaiting washing, clothes had to be in clothes bins and not on the floor, toilet stayed...

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