It has been a while since I posted. In that time, I have met great people doing great work. I work with undergraduate medical students but we have a long way to go to help the thousands of doctors in practice through emotional stressors that are eroding the mission they set out to do.
Many years ago when I set back to work after overwhelming fear after cancer, I wanted someone to guide me back– a peer. Surely someone else had been there; through cancer as a young person and found their way back? There just wasn’t the infrastructure to connect. Maybe one day. That’s my mission. To connect together side by side through errors, stressors, micro-traumas and illness that add together….
Can we become a physician self-care society with integrated peers? Let’s listen to the patient story. Never did I recognize the importance of this until I became a patient and just needed someone to listen; not judge, not diagnose, just listen to how hard it is….
"A good doctor is one who treats the disease; a great doctor is one who treats the person with the disease William Osler."
It was hard to get up early. I admit I am not a morning person and usually burn the 1 am oil as I finish all my chores and work. My joints wake up stiff and slowly. I made my way in the crispy darkness as the sun started to rise over the lake to start the first session of our mindfulness course.
Why now? Why am I ready? I have asked myself many times but I think, on my roller coaster of survivorship energy, that I am wanting to find a good place to be and refresh. Everyone there had that same goal.
We discussed some barriers to change, looked within ourselves in several meditations and I created a poem too.
Readiness to Change
Is it like a change of season
Or migration of a bird
Readiness inside us
Or deep awareness heard
Do we wait for the crash
As all the balls just fall
Or maybe never see it
Until we hit the wall .
Does it hit us blindside
Caring not to warn
As invaluable time
From our heart is torn
Pause and look around to feel
Reflecting on the now
As stars shine down on the earth
Our intentions show us how.
Alexandra Ginty MD
I am simplifying a history that has changed me. It started with bilateral breast cancer, hereditary BRCA mutation; I was in survival. Many challenges later, I have to get back up, everyday. I am in survivorship. We must look after ourselves in order to help others. It becomes purposeful; living in acceptance with self-compassion. That's my new compass.