Residency Updates…and the Pursuit of Peace

Hello dear readers!

A happy (belated) new year!

I can hardly believe it has been almost 6 years since I changed careers from working as a research scientist to pursuing a career in medicine. Four years of medical school and almost 2 years of residency later, I can say that through all the smiles and tears, it was worth it and I feel blessed to have such a rewarding career.

Since my last update, I have completed rotations in ER, family medicine, mental health and radiology. I am currently doing pediatrics ER which, although has unusual work hours, has been a great rotation so far!

Lots of great things to report…I obtained the provincial permit that will allow me to practice in my region and I have a job lined up at a great clinic where I previously did some of my rotations. It is close to home (so happy to leave the long commute and traffic behind!) and based in a beautiful area close to the water. The team I will work with is fantastic!

I have my final licensing exams in April and will be done residency at the end of June (4 months 9 days 21 hours and 34 minutes to go, but who’s counting!) I plan to take the summer off to travel and spend more time with the family, with the goal of starting practice at the end of August.

Over the past few months, I have definitely struggled with anxiety and at times felt like I was running a marathon with my energy slowly fading. I was encouraged by the verses in Philippians that encourage us to “press on towards the goal” and that “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds“.

I also regularly meditated on this verse from 2 Timothy 1:7 “for the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and sound mind.” I like to break down this verse into 3 parts, essentially replacing fear with 3 things:

  1. Power: the strength, motivation and resilience that we need to face each day and every challenge that comes along
  2. Love: focusing outwardly on loving others and giving others our best, showing ourselves self-love, being less critical of ourselves and focusing less on what others think of us
  3. Sound mind: mental resilience, a mind at peace, letting go of the worries about the future and things that are outside of our control

As always, I am continually thankful for my beautiful children and my wonderful husband who has painstakingly supported me through out this whole process, never complaining, never wavering, but being my solid rock when I was weak! Exciting news to follow in the next few months as we plan HIS career change! Stay tuned!

Residency Updates…and the Art of Taking it Easy

Time is just flying by! Today marks the end of the first 4 months as a second-year resident. I completed my second batch of internal medicine rotations as well as my rural rotations. I absolutely loved my rural rotations! I can definitely feel my confidence as a doctor growing and am thankful that there are always more experienced physicians around to consult when I feel unsure about things. This summer was also wonderful as we did quite a bit of camping which the kids loved. And as COVID restrictions loosen, it has been great to spend time with friends and family!

I have just finished reading a great book on managing stress entitled “The Art of Taking it Easy” by comedian/psychologist Dr. Brian King. Some key points from the book include:

Try not to dwell on things that are out of your control

View challenges as a problem to be solved (rather than something to be avoided at all costs). This trains us to become resilient and better able to handle future challenges. This point fits in very nicely with a verse from the Bible that a good friend shared with me this week “But I prayed, now strengthen my hands” Nehemiah 6:9. The idea being that when Nehemiah (cupbearer to the Persian king in ~5th century B.C.) faced challenges regarding the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, he prayed for strength to handle the challenge rather than praying to be taken out of that challenging situation.

Practice daily gratitude, be specific and write down or reflect on something you are grateful for that happened TODAY.

What are YOU grateful for today?

Summer/ Fall family fun!

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!