Yesterday was special. A classmate and dear friend of mine who has been out of province for her residency came back for a weekend getaway. We had an opportunity to meet and catch up on how our respective residencies have been thus far.
While war stories were exchanged, the focus was never about the medicine side of things. It was more about how life has been and what we were up to. It was a nice change of pace from my regular conversations nowadays.
For four hours, we were able to disarm ourselves of our ward personas and talk about regular, “normal” things. From the movies we watched, to my recent vacation stories, to her relationship challenges.
At four hours, that mental vacation seemed too short.
Just when I thought I was out of the woods, I was re-exposed to the most dangerous paediatric affliction of all:
Contrary to its name, this troubling and traumatic condition is just damn hard to let go. It infects the motor and memory recall systems and results in people unconsciously humming or singing to its tune. It has the potential of infecting other people. Prognosis: Very contagious. A full recovery is possible but in the order of weeks so long as you are not re-exposed to it.
…Embedding a Starbucks store right inside of a hospital is a genius.
These stores are make a killing of my wallet.
The challenge of my current schedule is that I must juggle my responsibilities between my core rotation and those of my clinic, to which I am obligated to spend time as well.
Sometimes it means missing out on some good learning opportunities due to conflicting schedules. Other times, the days off of one schedule coincide with the days on of another. I can be particularly hit hard if, like today, the day could have been spent sleeping post night shift.
Thankfully these scheduling anomalies are few and far between. However, when I think about how well established the challenges of balance are in residency, having an awareness of these issues can go a long way towards improving resident resilience.
From the Agamemnon of Aeschylus (written c. 458 BCE)
Pathei Mathos can be translated as learning from adversary, or wisdom arises from (personal) suffering, or personal experience is the genesis of true learning.
Understood in its original context, Aeschylus expresses that wisdom arising from personal experience is more valuable than what any impersonal words, faith, or doctrine can impart to us.
You are probably the keenest resident I have ever had and certainly one of the top performing I have met. I think you will do well wherever you go.