I mentor & coach physicians on their wellbeing & how to use their energy wisely.
Just as there are people called to work in healthcare, it's my calling to serve those who help people in their most vulnerable times & phases of life to continually have the capacity to do it.
Somewhere along the journey to becoming a physician, students started believing that they should be able to handle everything they're exposed to & developed messy coping habits that impact on their ability to connect with others & self in healthy ways.
Healers need healers otherwise they will fail to recognise how their own suffering can become a source of wisdom to apply in their work with patients & in supporting their peers/colleagues. Instead, personal suffering or denial of it, can take one's mind into dark places.
Being an entrepreneur comes with a sense of freedom & none of the institutional limits on creativity. Yet unless I'm consulting within an organisation or connected to community, it can feel lonely & isolating. Online communities are great for support but it's not enough.
I've seen the negative effects of people investing all their time/energy in networking online & draining group dynamics. I realised that one of my values is to participate in collaborations that involve physical meet ups or at least in the potential of physical meetups. 2/
What can I say? I derive inspiration from in person experiences. So it's not surprising that I notice changes in my thinking patterns & emotional landscape when my interactions are more virtual than physical. It's de-motivating & raises mental health alarm bells 3/
The end of my week involves reflecting on my week and what I've learned from my experiences & conversations with others. Topics in my awareness are gender inequality in medicine, physician burnout, abuse in healthcare & sharing/oversharing our stories 1/
There are those here who strive to inspire peers, provide a space for connection & rally for change through the various discussion threads. It's clear to me that there's a lot of passion & desire to do great things in the world by those who I follow/see in my feed. 2/
I can also feel the collective frustration/anger/angst/sadness/resignation/sympathy/name that heavy emotion when any of our efforts aimed at success & liberation from system constraints appear to be blocked by injustice, abuse, ineffective strategy or poor communication. 3/
This is my commentary on #twitter#movements. Before I go I want to preface this with a statement: I love humans. We're amazing creative & powerful beings. I'm fascinated by human behaviour and the hidden motivations underlying our basic need to belong. 1/
I've observed some movements taking off on Twitter. Some for #MedEd, raising awareness, knowledge sharing, inspiration and sharing failings, wounds & triumphs. Generally they support creative expression in 280 characters. Awesome! 2/
As these movements gain momentum, more people want to join in b/c #belonging. I'm seeing a disturbing trend of sharing experiences of patients/clients to promote how deep & human they are. Some are purely intended, some not. 3/
I’m going to pitch in here. A lot of what’s considered burnout is actually compassion fatigue. Poor understanding of either which affects types of interventions, prevention & support available. Let’s also remember how boys are socialised to be ‘men’.
Depersonalisation: shut down of empathy to cope. Emotional exhaustion: too much empathy & absorbing emotional burden + vicarious trauma thrown in. Both contribute to compassion fatigue-looks like burnout but isn’t.
Burnout is related to untenable/unsustainable work conditions rather than emotional labour. Burnout is the signal that your ideal life doesn’t match your reality & you’re working hard to maintain what you have rather than make choices that move toward ideal. Energy sucking life.
Some thoughts: There seems to be an assumption in #medicine that patients receive the best care based on best evidence, where evidence usually means quantitative research (my assumption). Yet quality of care is dependent on personal characteristics of each health professional 1/
Knowledge derived from evidence is insufficient to translate into behavioural changes that support the 'best care' intention. Science-based evidence must be channeled through unquantifiable characteristics expressed by each individual health professional to provide best care 2/
These characteristics include: empathy, kindness, unconditional positive regard, non-judgemental attitude, empathic listening, intuition, warmth, encouragement, hope and so on. If we're touting science-based medicine, it must also include practice-based evidence 3/
4. Connection to your purpose (your Why) & desire to serve wellbeing of others 5. Peer support & group reflective practice w/ agreements to preserve confidentiality, respect, non-judgement & openness 6. Mentoring by someone who has qualities you want/admire & skills you need
7. Therapy with someone who can see in you what you can’t ie. your strengths, growing edges & blind spots) 8. Have a life & interests outside of your profession 9. Trust your intuition by listening to it and following through. If something feels ‘off’ it is.