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On Timing

A fundamental aspect of wellness is a sense of stability. Personally, I struggle with the varying schedules, requirements and constant change in medicine. I find it hard to ground myself. On day 3 of continuing my meditation journey, I find that I am magnitudes more peaceful today than I have been in some time. I'm not entirely sure if it's the steps I have taken to better myself or my particularly good mood, but I have found some stability in the past few days in my regular practice. I think the resulting stability of mind of my practice has perhaps the most impactful.

On the other hand, however, I have begun to contemplate time in medicine. What does it mean to achieve things "on time?" In many other fields, we discuss success as having no age limit. That is not to say that striving to achieve something at a different age or different point in one's career is easy to do, but I find that medicine is particularly unforgiving. I have spoken to immigrant doctors denied a residency spot, despite being fully qualified in their home countries, due to their age. In fact, one doctor I spoke with actually told me that a member of the interviewing committee told her to go home to her children rather than interview for a position she would surely not get. Timing is also important for physicians wanting to have children. Women physicians and medical students at all stages of training struggle with determining when is the right "time" to start living. Life, so often, is put on pause as we write exams, apply for positions and generally manage our over-crammed schedules.

I wonder sometimes, in this moment of stability, whether there will ever be a right time to do everything. The medical system is commonly a toxic space that can chew you up and spit you out without a second thought. This is becoming more visible in the pandemic, where doctors who are burnt out simply cannot stay in their jobs any longer. I want to have more stability in my life, and I think up until now, I let my medical journey dictate that. Today, I have decided to take that back. It is only in stability that I will be able to progress further and faster. In my meditation, I will find mental stability. I will prioritize my body and my soul above the expectations of others in my career. Read that carefully. The expectations of others. While timing in my body and heart are dictated by my biology, timing in my career is dictated by my peers and those around me.

There is a right time and place for everything. However, despite the fact that I am in a major transition in my career from one step of the journey to another, I choose me. I will choose to prioritize my own inner clock over the clock dictated to me by others. A journey, if you will, to be beautiful in my time.

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