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Compartmentalizing

Is it harder to care for your patients when things are challenging at home? In the recently released movie First Man, we learn that astronaut Neil Armstrong lost his daughter Karen of a brain tumor when she was just two. Not surprisingly, he was devastated. The movie goes on to show the interplay between his heroic achievements in space, and the impact Karen's death had on him. In one scene, a reporter clumsily asks him if his daughter's death might have an impact on him as he seeks to be the first one to walk on the moon. His response: "I don't see how it couldn't impact me." Then he goes on and does his job calmly and professionally.

Like Armstrong, your work as a physician requires a certain amount of compartmentalization. You can't bring challenges from your home life into the examination room. At the same time, you are a human being. The things that happen in our homes do impact us. In the words of Armstrong, "How could they not?" One physician said to me "Compartmentalization is a great short term strategy, and a lousy long term strategy." In other words, use your ability to compartmentalize to get through the day. But at the same time, look for healthy ways to talk, vent, and get support when things are tough at home. Neil Armstrong did heroic things, but he was human. You also do heroic things, every day. You too are human. Question for Reflection and Conversation: Who do you talk with when you need to vent about your home life? Click here to see a short video about the Colleagues program.   DEDICATED COHORTS A Dedicated Cohort is a low commitment, high impact opportunity to talk with other physicians about the human side of practicing medicine.  The Cohort has a one-hour monthly meeting over the course of five months.  It is a guided conversation to help you feel more connected to other physicians, and to provide you with practical tools and inspiration as you practice medicine. The meetings happen on-line, so you can be at home, the office, or anywhere in between.  Time will be selected by the Cohort to make sure it works with your schedule.  Contact Doug at Doug@Lumunos.org or 802-318-1663 if you are interested. 

Doug Wysockey-Johnson

Shine a Light on Your Calling ©Lumunos 2018

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