First Year Residents

The 3 years you spend during your surgical residency are some of the most important years of your training.  You may be able to recite McGlamrys from all of your studying in school, but now you get to apply everything you been taught. Residency, no matter the specialty, can be taxing, both physically and mentally.  Being on call, never truly falling into that deep sleep, just waiting for your pager to buzz at 2 AM can take a toll.  Early mornings rounding, late nights in the ER, being on call over holidays, can place stress on you and your relationships faster than you think!  Taking time for you is important to help balance a least a portion of the craziness. 

Doctors are highly motivated to be effective in their professional life but maintaining a balance with their personal lives is a challenge for all of us. How you maintain this balance will ultimately determine not only your success but also your happiness.  I have noted that occasionally I feel discouraged about various aspects of medical care such as the vast amount of paper work that I must complete in order to care for my patients or the continued decrease in reimbursements that we are all experiencing.  When I meet with my colleagues, I know that many are experiencing the same feelings about their practices.  I get very discouraged when I hear doctors talking about leaving practice when they should be at the most productive and enjoyable aspects of their career, or when they state that they wouldn’t recommend their children or family to enter the medical profession.  I still believe that medicine is the most noble profession that provides the greatest satisfaction and gratification and that all that we need to do is to find techniques of putting balance into our careers.  This article will discuss 10 suggestions that may help level the scale between your personal and professional life.  It is my intention that all physicians who read this article will have gained new insight into achieve balance in their practices and balance in their personal lives.

As Bobby Unser states, “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet”. This statement is applicable in the medical profession, specifically in the surgical realm.

I will focus on three specific words from Mr. Unser’s quote, which are preparation, opportunity and success. These three words are intertwined with one another and provide a continuum for positive outcomes.

1. Preparation