There’s a lot to be done in our healthcare system today. Wherever you look, there’s a problem that needs to be solved. Sometimes it seems like we have less and less people with the right training and attitude to take on these challenges and re-engineer our healthcare system.
Most people start their career with the intention of not just practicing medicine but also working towards making healthcare better. But once you start your career it all gets overwhelming very quickly. As patients come in droves, many of us are simply trying to stay afloat with providing good patient care. After a few years of getting comfortable with this, I finally was able to take a breath, take a step back and start looking at doing something else with my life in addition to seeing patients. I once again started asking myself, how can I make the world around me (our healthcare system) better? As I began to figure this out (and this takes time, introspection, education) and develop my own interests, I got wrapped up in other things. I got caught up in the moment and the immediacy of the problems around me. I did a lot of good things but before I knew it several years passed and veered further away from what initially got me excited.
The amount of time, energy that’s required to happily succeed in medicine is immense. The only way to sustain energy and momentum, is to be passionate and have a greater purpose that you sincerely believe in. Hard work and a desire to do the right thing can overcome a lack of passion. But if you have a greater purpose in medicine, you have to stick to your guns, get back to things that get you excited and fulfill that sense of purpose.
We all have the proverbial mountains to climb in our career. Just make sure it’s a mountain of your choosing. You don’t want to spend your life climbing, and in the end, not enjoying the journey or the view from the top.