From last few weeks, I realized that, for me, my personal professional fulfillment comes down to three things, autonomy, expectations and people. So, what do I mean by that?
Well, first is AUTONOMY; if you feel like your work actually matters, you’re going to be a lot happier than if you feel like your work just does no one any good. So, for example last Friday in the operating room, I had a lot of autonomy. We were doing some simpler cases, therefore, as the new resident, the attending and the other residents were comfortable letting me take charge and do most – almost all of the case actually. And that’s pretty huge, I wasn’t expecting that, and that was awesome, I really enjoyed it.
The next point was EXPECTATIONS; If you go into a day expecting that you’re going to get out at, you know, 6:00 AM and you’re there until 8:00 PM or 9:00 PM, you’re going to be really annoyed after 6:00 PM. So, don’t do that. Expect for the worst and when things aren’t as bad as you were expecting, you’re just going to be a lot happier. Likewise, if you expect yourself to have a lot of autonomy in a case or for a case to go a certain way and it goes south or you know, you mess up, someone gets mad at you or whatever it is, if you’re so caught up in your expectations for good or for things to be great, then when the going gets tough, you won’t be able to adapt and you won’t be happy.
And the last and final point comes down to PEOPLE, right? So, there’s a place to anyone in every profession. When people are choosing specialties in medicine or medical college, often times what you gravity towards are those specialties that have like-minded individuals where you feel like you get along, you click well et cetera. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that but you have to be careful because people at one institution for example, like a medical college, may have a certain culture being a certain way, but when you go to another institution, they may be completely different. So, you have to be careful to acknowledge and understand the influence of people on how you perceive your work. Think back to your classes, if you have – if you are with your best friends and even the – the most mundane class, it instantly became fun, right? So, the same thing applies here. Try to find people that you do enjoy working with. So, when I was ranking my residency positions, how I got along with residents and attendant’s was very important to me because I was going to be working with these people for the next six years. If you do find a group of people that you click with, then absolutely by all means, you know, maximize it, and try to join them, enjoy yourself, and push each other to improve.