“Residency got you,” a friend wrote to me over email, reflecting on the recent silence on my blog.
Ahh, it’s true! Residency has got me.
I’m feeling hopeful though: 1) I just got my schedule for the coming year and it’s looking pretty great compared to the past two years, and 2) I have vacation coming up and am heading back to Costa Rica for friend-family-rest-reading-beach-yoga-surf time… Costa Rica has a way of restoring me and I am way overdue for a visit.
I’ve been working a lot of night shifts lately, but they’re getting easier. Maybe part of it is that I feel slightly more competent — making it all much more fun and rewarding, even if I am bleary eyed in the middle of the night.
It’s really hard not to lose oneself in residency, but here a few things making me feel maybe like it hasn’t completely got me yet:
- Midnight yoga in the call room. Our call rooms are pretty sparse but work surprisingly well for a makeshift yoga space.
- Things I’m reading when not at work:
- My herbs. They’re still alive!
- Running. Waking up from my post-night slumber and running in the warm afternoon sun, starting to build up to the SF half marathon which I’m thinking of actually running this year.
- Pulling out my massive whiteboard to brainstorm what the future might hold.
- Post-call dreamy days watching Downton Abbey.
- Bonfire on the beach. Something I’ve wanted to do ever since moving here and it finally happened (windy and cold but so fun).
I’ve been working on eating more greens. As we all know, it’s super hard when there’s little time to cook, free enticing hospital food, and rushed unpredictable meal-times.
One solution I’ve been working on is getting into the habit of making a morning green smoothie.
I keep my kitchen stocked with:
- Huge bin of washed organic spinach
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Frozen organic fruit: berries, mangoes, peaches
- Hemp milk (vanilla unsweetened)
- Plain full-fat greek yogurt
- Raw oatmeal
The key has been having a quick and easy to use blender. I love my blender because the cup IS the blender — you attach a special lid with a blade and simply turn it upside down to blend.
I generally put 2 tbs chia seeds, 1 tbs flax seeds, ½ cup of fruit, ½ a banana, 1 cup of hemp milk, a dollop of yogurt, and 1-2 tbs of raw oatmeal depending on how thick I want it.
Most importantly, I stuff in as much spinach as possible. Sometimes I’ll blend first, and then add in more spinach, and reblend.
It takes me about 3 minutes to make these and I carry it in my bag until I get hungry for breakfast.
They might look gross but they’re actually pretty good (and more importantly, they FEEL so healthy)!
I’m open to suggestions on what else to put in them — I think it’s time for some more variety!
It’s no surprise that physicians aren’t great leaders — we spend our twenties in medical school studying, and resurface years later expected to be great communicators, decision-makers, and change-makers.
Our residency program recently funded a session on leadership and the Myers Briggs analysis to help us be better.
Prior to our session we were sent a link with the Myers Briggs analysis and asked to take it. It took under 15 minutes, and if you haven’t taken it before you can easily google and take it online.
The Myers Briggs is based on Carl Jung’s theory that we are born with innate preferences in the following areas (oversimplified explanations below):
- Extroversion/Introversion (E vs I): Do you tend to gain energy by being around other people, or by being alone?
- Sensing/Intuition (S vs N): Do you tend to gather information from data and facts, or from relationships and associations?
- Thinking/Feeling (T vs N): Do you tend to make decisions based on logic and reason, or based on people’s needs and harmony?
- Judging vs Perceiving (J vs P): Is your external world very orderly and planned, or do you tend to be more spontaneous and flexible?
Similar to how we have one dominant hand, we also have natural preferences for one end of the spectrum over the other.
When we arrived at our session we were handed a lengthy document explaining our “type” and what it means specifically with regard to leadership. I found this fascinating!
The point of all of this was to study and understand our own personalities and our decision-making processes. If we know our own natural strengths and weaknesses, we can build on our strengths, and strengthen our weaknesses. And we need to be extremely comfortable with who we are in order to better understand others and effectively lead a diverse team.
What do you think? Have you ever taken the Myers Briggs and found it at all useful?