MABA – MAINTAIN BALANCE
The fourth and final lesson that I shared in my June 2014 convocation speech is about maintaining balance between medicine and life.
In a survey published in a 2012 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, nearly one half of physicians who responded reported at least one symptom of burnout. Less than half of the physicians reported satisfaction with work-life balance.
Early in my career, I would not have been able to personally talk about finding a balance between medicine and life. That’s because I, too, suffered from burnout.
But now I can talk about the work-life balance for physicians and other healthcare professionals.
How did I come to this point? When I decided that the best way for me to take care of my patients was to start taking better care of myself.
Where did I begin? I started playing racquetball again!
Next, I discovered massage therapy and other relaxation techniques. I actually scheduled more time for my family and friends.
Then I decided to try something that I wanted to do since my childhood — Gymnastics!
So, at the age of 42 years old, I found a local gymnastics coach and began working on handstands, cartwheels, and round-offs. Soon my coach introduced me to the trampoline.
I had always played a variety of sports, but I had never had tried a flip, not even into a swimming pool.
Over the last five years, I have mastered a floating front tuck. That’s a front flip with bent knees. I’ve also learned to perform a back tuck. That’s a backward flip on the trampoline without the support of a belt!
Along with these athletic endeavors, I also maintain balance in my life by doing something as frivolous as playing games at Dave & Buster’s a few times per month.
I am much happier overall.
I’m excited to go to work and care for my patients. I’m excited to teach a variety of interprofessional students at all levels. And I’m excited to conduct research and participate in various other activities in medicine.
Key Point: See the scale in the middle of the marble coaster. This scale symbolizes my fourth and final lesson that I share when teaching each healthcare professional. This lesson: Make a concerted effort to find and then maintain balance between medicine and life.
Congratulations. You now know the meaning behind MABA – MAINTAIN BALANCE.
So, take a breath. You don’t have to remember all four lessons right now — because we’ll have a quick review next week.
Yes, I not only know how to pace my patients and students, but you, our blog readers!