Whew! This year has gone by quickly. It’s already time to move our clocks ahead and “lose” an hour. I’ve taken many hours recently reflecting on our accomplishments at the workplace, in life, and in my colleague’s lives. It’s easy to keep trucking along going at full pace, but in order to maintain a healthy balance we really have to remind ourselves of our accomplishments and goals.
How have the New Year’s Resolutions progressed?
Well, it’s very easy to meet all of your resolutions if you had none to begin with, right? I came into the year without having many defined goals outlined other than staying sane in the workplace, tracking my finances more accurately, and come up with good content that my readers would want to see. Let’s take a look at each one:
Sanity in the workplace
Everyone has stress at work, whether you are a bartender, IT professional, or neurosurgeon. We deal with stress in different ways, and as doctors, I think that we generally do a good job of handling stressful situations. That’s our job.
Now in the medical profession, there is no single cowboy or hero that can solve all of the problems. We work as a team. It doesn’t matter if you are the only person in the ICU who can intubate someone and interpret blood gas levels. If you have four patients crashing at the same time, you are beholden to all of those around you to help keep the ship afloat. If you are the Intensivist and the most qualified person in the ICU, you need to delegate, teach, and positively enforce good behavior among all of those around you.
That is not easy.
I would hope that all of us strive for self improvement. These goals don’t have to be lofty and earth-changing. In an ideal world, all of our colleagues should share the same vision. Reality, I have learned over and over, is never the case. I work with a technician who has had over twenty years of experience in my profession, but is relatively fixed in his routine. Whenever there are tasks that build up throughout the day that require organization, things fall through the cracks. If Patient Y calls in a 9am with a question about her lab results and Dr. X calls in at 10am for a consultation, there is a high possibility that neither task gets completed. It appears that no amount of coaching over two years had made much of a dent in any improvement. He claims that with a stressful workday, it is difficult to remember everything that comes in.
Is this type of deficit correctable? Is this technician actually trying to improve himself? Or am I, the doctor, simply expecting too much? In our profession, it is not possible to outline every single expectation for an employee in a manual, so should this technician be expected to remember to complete tasks that come in?
What if I, as a surgeon, don’t always remember to tie off the veins before I resect them? If a bad outcome occurs, you’d better believe some legal person will be knocking down my door!
No matter what pace those around us actually improve, I have constantly reminded myself to present each situation positively to others. It makes for an overall more positive work experience.
Positive attitude in tracking finances
Most financial bloggers out there just love money. They love spreadsheets, and can pull out their monthly expenses for the past five years. I sense some OCD in this department. I prefer to reserve my OCD tendencies in making sure my surgeries go well. It doesn’t leave much left to tracking all of my receipts.
However, I have started tracking my expenditures by cataloguing them on a spreadsheet. Some of my numbers are tracked on Personal Capital, but I use gift cards for many purchases so many of my expenditures have to be tracked manually. I am happy to say that I will soon be able to post my results! No, I’m not going to have amazing savings like other money bloggers out there—I just spent $40 on a lunch for a restaurant week outing! But I hope that my numbers will give some motivation for those still pulling out of debt that you don’t have to eat instant cup ramen (Not the fresh stuff from Japan either) to get a positive net worth.
This part is for you, my readers. I am grateful for the support of the online community and the readership for helping unite the physician and professional community. I want some feedback. What do you want to see? What do you want to learn? Should we have some guest posts here? Do you want more DIY tutorials unrelated to medicine or money? One of the most popular articles on this website is the guide to changing the headlight bulbs on a Subaru!
Comment below, or send me an e-mail on the website!
Thanks again for your support this year!
(Photo courtesy of Flickr)