Forgetting our purpose

Throughout today’s sessions, one thing that really hit home for me as a student was the last video we watched created by the MedStar team. Within the video, it brought up a point that I think we as students tend to forget – especially those within the first 2 years of medical school or those within the most book heavy, patient free part of their healthcare curriculum. In the video, the doctor mentioned that she had memorized all the muscles and bones within the body, and gone to school for x number of years in order to tae care of this particular patient; she had spent all this time and energy, sleepless nights, and damaged personal relationships in order to be a great caregiver for him.

This really resonated with me, especially with the recent completion of my first 2 years of schooling. I realized that within this period of books on books and lectures on lectures, we as students tend to forget our purpose – our “true north” if you will – of personally caring for and improving the overall well-being of our patients, our fellow humans. Without that constant reminder of why it is we are investing such time and energy into learning about bugs and drugs and such absurd sounding things as poop charts, we tend to veer from our true north into a path of “jadedness” and even resentment.  If we can take the time everyday to remind ourselves of why we are doing all this, perhaps by watching videos such as this one or “Empathy” from Cleveland Clinic or by simply writing ourselves a letter that we read in moments of stress and frustration as we watch our peers in other professions begin to have careers and families, if we can bring ourselves back to our purpose even within the classroom I believe we can all be not only more effective healthcare providers but happier ones.

I’m reminded of an article that I tend to turn to that helps remind me a lot of the deeper issues of the stress and burnout of physicians. It’s more of book review perhaps, but it really resonated with me as to a different perspective on how we can get distraught within our beloved training and professions.

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