Residency Updates…9 months in!

It’s Spring time! I can’t believe how fast residency is flying by.

IMG_3341Since my last update, I have done 6 more rotations (Geriatrics, Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Family Medicine, Pediatrics ER and Pediatrics Ambulatory). I was also deployed to the COVID wards, as were many of my fellow residents. My experiences as a resident remind me that each day on this earth is a gift. I am continually humbled by the resilience of the patients, their families and inspired by the dedicated teams I have worked with.

I would say the most challenging of my rotations so far has been Internal Medicine, with long hours on call, including nights covering several wards where there were unstable patients that I had to manage on my own. Looking back, I am grateful for my residency experiences despite the heavy physical, mental and emotional toll. They say that the place of growth is outside of your comfort zone and I definitely experienced this over the last few months.

The best thing about challenging experiences is that when we emerge on the other side, albeit shaken and tired, it reveals what we are capable of. It allows us to stray even further away from the comfort zone as we challenge ourselves further. Out of those moments of anxiety, doubt and uncertainty arises a sense of “I can do this”. The possibilities are endless!

As I draw close to the end of my first year of residency, I am excited for what the future holds! I’m grateful that I get to share this journey with my awesome husband and beautiful children. And I thank the Lord for the strength he gives me each day!

Five Benefits of Venturing Outside Your Comfort Zone

It’s rarely easy doing something that we are not accustomed to. It can make us feel uncomfortable and unsure of ourselves. This week I was reminded that venturing outside our comfort zone is actually good for us. It can increase our confidence and help us achieve things we would never have thought we were capable of.

This past week, I had the pleasure of being part of a great team that led over 60 kids aged between 4 and 12 during our church annual summer camp. The theme for this year was ‘Cave Quest’ and many of the activities dealt with geology concepts such as stalactites, stalagmites, snottites and geodes. I was tasked with the role of running the “Imagination (Science) Station” during which I would run various experiments with the children.

Now I have to say that prior to the camp I felt rather intimidated by the sheer number of kids that we would be looking after as well as the fact that I had never done a summer camp before nor did I have much knowledge about geology. I would have felt much more at ease talking about biology or chemistry. But geology? I simply felt clueless. The fact that my team and the kids were depending on me forced me to do my research and come up with some inventive ways to demonstrate the experiments.

Through the course of the week, I went through a myriad of emotions from exhaustion to frustration to amazement to appreciation to gratitude! It was difficult to do something outside of my comfort zone and there were times when I felt I was not doing a good job. But each day, the excited faces of the children with their energy, curiosity and thirst for knowledge, made me feel so privileged to be part of the team doing sports, sharing about the wonders of science as well as the love of Jesus.

This week surely reminded me of the importance of stepping outside of our comfort zone from time to time. The benefits are many:

  1. Growth and perseverance: doing something you are not familiar with stretches you and forces you to use your mind and body in ways that you’re not used to. The result is a stronger, more resilient person who can take on even greater challenges.
  2. Builds relationships: having been in the trenches with the kids and other leaders for five full days in a row, I got to know more about them and to build some amazing friendships.
  3. Expands your horizons: I remember somewhat grumbling to myself when I saw what the theme for the summer camp was….geology? Boring! I don’t know anything about that! But having researched and then explained the concepts to the kids, I learned some truly fascinating things!
  4. Builds your confidence: Having successfully managed to “survive” the summer camp, I feel much more confident to take on  new things and not to be intimidated by my lack of knowledge on a subject. There are so many resources to learn new things!
  5. Meets a need: No matter how uncomfortable or incompetent you may feel at something, if you give it your best and put in the required effort, you will make a difference in someone’s life, maybe even leave a permanent mark on their hearts and minds.

Don’t be afraid to try something new! Don’t let discomfort hold you back! There is a learning curve for everything and with time and effort, you will eventually succeed!