What is the thing in life that you want the absolute most? How
many times do we ask ourselves this? I figured it was time for
another philosophical exploration here on the blog.
Whether you're still in the planning stages, full on into your
training experience or career, or a supporter of someone who is
training for a career in medicine, motivation and goals will always
be a big part of the training experience. It's so easy to get
disillusioned by what it is that we're doing. It feels so endless.
I can't say how many times I've had friends, family, or significant
others comment to me that I work too hard and have no time for
rest, relaxation, or even them. Sometimes it's a lonely and
miserable existence to be in medical school. And now that we're all
depressed... Motivation is so important--especially now as my
countdown is in full swing and I'm starting to think about what
comes AFTER school.
I have to give a shout-out to my classmate Julia, who honestly
keeps me sane (or less borderline insane) a lot of the time. This
weekend we're planning a "vision board" exercise to plan for what
comes after we're finished with school. If you're not familiar with
the concept of vision boarding, it's pretty simple, and a lot like
arts and crafts in kindergarten--but with purpose.
Get a cheap piece of poster board, some old magazines, some glue
sticks or tape, and some scissors. If it inspires you, grab a
bottle of your favorite beverage and a clear spot on the floor and
spend some time thinking and planning about what you want--either
short term, long term, or just what you want out of Life. There are
no absolutes. I've seen people with vision boards of houses,
careers, decorating ideas, healthy living, etc.
I'm looking forward to this exercise. It's been about five years
since I've done one of these. Maybe some of my goals were a little
bit different; maybe some were the same. Nothing has to be set in
stone. As we grow, our goals and desires change. I know one thing
that will definitely be right in the middle of that vision board. I
want to be happy.
Happiness means something different to everyone. Maybe for you
it means a house and a family, a thriving practice, a fancy car, a
big garden. For me, it means fulfillment--and laughter. I guess I
see a lot of the other things as extraneous. They might be nice,
but it's not something that I need to live. But being happy--that's
like breathing. When it feels like the world is crashing in, when
there are too many tests and I'm being pulled a million important
directions, when all I want to do (but can't) is not what I'm
supposed to be doing, or when there's some kind of crisis (for me
or someone I care about), I have to have a sense of humor. I have
to be able to laugh, because I'd much rather laugh, than cry.
This week, like many other weeks, we have exams and projects to
work on. I'm coming to the end of the quarter for the master's
program at UWS and through midterms here at NUHS. Distractions
abound. Fatigue sets in. And thankfully, I have some pretty awesome
people (thank you Julia, Grey and Forest, and many others) to
remind me to find my motivation, keep my sense of humor, and keep
For those of you needing a "feel good" moment, for those
starting to feel that fatigue set in, for those that are maybe
feeling a little bit lonely in their journey--this video is for
you. I hope it lifts you up and gives you a great big smile this
week, like it did me.
Have a great week everybody!!!! Laugh. Be Happy.
Boy, do I have a BIG case of Senioritis! We've talked about
motivation before, about how to stay motivated, studying for
midterms, etc. But this is a whole new level of short-timer's
syndrome. Surely you all know what I mean. It's -- day before
vacation, Friday afternoon, last week of school -- syndrome. The
unfortunate thing is, I don't think I'm classified as a senior
Last week, Forest (age 14) and I were talking about school. It
seems that we're both lacking in motivation (except I seem to hide
it a little bit better). During this conversation he said to me,
"Mom, I've had senioritis since the 5th grade" -- to which I
laughed. He's in 9th grade now. But I know exactly what he means.
Being in 7th Tri provides just a bit of a tease regarding being
done (writing business plans, talking about practices, etc.). The
fact that we keep talking about clinic is a pretty big deal. We've
already started talking about schedules. It's coming quick. I can't
wait. As far as Forest and his senioritis, he's got a good bit
longer to go than I do. It'll probably be a bit more of a struggle
for him than for me. Until then, we'll have to keep tabs on our
goofing off and not doing schoolwork.
One thing that people don't really talk about outside of school
(at least it seems that way) is variation. When you get to cadaver
lab, you'll see how vastly different things are from body to body.
Sometimes an artery is on the medial side of the muscle --
sometimes the lateral. Maybe there's a split in the vein and maybe
there isn't. I happen to know that none of my nerves in my head and
face are in the "right" spot. I have a condition known as a Chiari
malformation. I tell everyone that my brain is too big for my skull
-- which is actually true (but still funny). But the fact that the
junction where most of the cranial nerves exit is lower in the head
has made for interesting positioning as far as the rest of them. My
dentists are always (not) amused if I need work done. And we
figured out that regarding acupuncture of the head (on Saturday),
it's not necessarily a good idea for me.
So, regardless of the condition or the modality, it's important
to remember that not all people are wired the same, have the same
sensitivities, or respond to therapies the same way. There is no
"one size fits all" approach. The idea of "protocols" is a trap
that we can fall into -- but we have to keep in mind, that our
patients are individuals with unique bodies and unique needs.
Dave and Ricky
In Modalities this morning, we were experimenting with TENS
units. Since it didn't happen last week, I wasn't going to include
it in this week's post, but the reactions were priceless. Ricky and
Dave decided to "exercise" (or maybe it was exorcise, LOL) the
Have a great week, everybody!!!!
It must've been sometime around my sophomore year in high
school, when I was taking World History, that I realized that if I
had motivation to do something, anything, it would get done. It
wasn't that World History was all that difficult; it was that I had
absolutely no interest in it. I had no
Finals are the time when I have to find the motivation to keep
going--when I have to find things to keep me motivated to make it
through. So, below I am listing a few things that are giving me
This is just a smattering of things floating around in my
Sometimes, we need a little inspiration. This morning I heard
board pass rate statistics (Go National!), which are not too
shabby. I've caught a few videos on YouTube and Facebook
encouraging me to keep going (a little bit of inspiration never
hurts). I've been sent a million cute pictures of cats and maybe
even more quotes superimposed on beautiful mountain
The best motivation, however, is the desire to know. I look at
most of my classes as a tease. We're exposed to some small snippet
of factoid about some condition, some biochemistry, some
physiology, or some treatment. It might be enough to pass the
boards. It might even be enough for some people to use in their
practice later on. But for most of us, it's just a primer for what
we need to know. Every time I come across someone that has an issue
that I don't know the answer to, it encourages me to learn--the
more obscure the issue, the greater the learning opportunity. These
opportunities fuel me.
Finals start this week. Adrenaline keeps me moving, but
inspiration keeps me going. What motivates you? What inspires
I wish you great fortune on finals, everyone. See you in a few
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
To read older blog posts, scroll to the bottom and click the "Older Posts" button.