Why Me? The Story of My Burnout – Part 3

Why Me? The Story of My Burnout - Part 3

The story continues from link (Part 2).

I must take a deep breath. I must ask for help.

The Self-Knowledge Path

I could go away and work in another hospital. We have many good hospitals in Brazil. Some even employ emergency physicians who are local graduates. I really could. In truth, there would be no shame if I left the hospital. But I decided to give it one more try.

I just want to make clear that there is no single route back from burnout. It is a multifactorial treatment. You need emotional power. Some you may already have, or you can develop with a mental health specialist’s help. Some you will gather alone, or family and friends will help you to recover if you are lucky enough. Read, talk, discuss, and share with your community. You will never be alone because it is the system that is inflicting moral injury and burning you, and everybody, out.

Each person needs different means and tools to recover. We have to acknowledge that not everybody can afford all of them. Not everybody can pay for a therapist or even leave their work. I was one of the lucky ones. I could.

I promised myself and others that I would get better, and I wouldn’t give up. I felt obliged to improve the system that had harmed me. The system that made me afraid; afraid that I would fail.

It was not easy! It wasn’t “just not thinking about it.” It wasn’t “just a phase.” It wasn’t “just yoga.” It wasn’t “just wanting.” It was more than all the above. It took a long journey of self-knowledge: Who was I? What did I want? How could I achieve that?

Gradually, intertwined with relapses,​ the healing process began. I returned to therapy. Thanks to all support from my amazing friends, -virtual friends, present friends, distant friends- mentors, mentees, students, residents, followers, I was overwhelmed with affection and understanding. There were messages of encouragement everywhere I looked and listened. I did not plan this. It happened organically from across our community, and sometimes unintentionally, as I reached out to others, who always found time to help me.

Kindness can save a life! If you feel so, just go around saying how important people are in your life. I assure you that the kindness and positive comments of these people saved me.

I improved gradually in small steps. With empathy and determination, I took one step after another. Each step led me to find new perspectives. With each small victory​, I felt a small but important​ celebration in my heart​. ​

Yet, I wanted to make sense of it all. How to endure the moral injury? How to continue working here? I desperately needed to make sense of my job.

Why Me?

jule santos

In addition to therapy, I went on leave. I flew away and spent time in Mozambique, an LMIC, with many more difficulties, compared to Brazil. They were just beginning to develop the first emergency medicine residency program, and they had a lot more work to do. They were seemingly starting from scratch, and they had fewer resources than we had in Brazil. I found their enthusiasm and resourcefulness more inspiring than I thought possible.

It wasn’t because I could see how lucky we are in Brazil, but they did their best even though they were aware of their problems. I knew that there was no way that I could give up after seeing them.

I returned to Brazil, where people were eager to work with me. I felt they had missed me. They showed me that I made a difference.

I was fortunate to see my work environment improved. The administration had started to ‘get it,’ and now they cared about what we do. They realized that efficient systems saved money, so they were helping us achieve better care for our patients. Our department was renovated. They hired more people, and we got better medications. It all helped. It felt as though they were listening.

So recovering from burnout not only helped me to accept that problems are a part of the system but also made me realize people make the system. Therefore we can change it to accommodate our needs. Not the contrary. We need to END moral injury by addressing it and demanding solutions! We don’t need to be resilient to it!

In the beginning, I understood that I needed to be ​present​ in all my tasks, but that’s a challenge in the hectic world of emergency medicine. In truth, we are not as good at multitasking as we let ourselves think. However, we get better at prioritizing and scheduling tasks as we develop as clinicians. More importantly, we learn to give each task the proper time and attention it deserves.

As time passed, my most challenging feelings diminished. I redefined my responsibilities and my choices, redefined my motivation, my ambition, my purpose. I adjusted my expectations. I found a new power.

Then, ​gradually​, the love for Emergency Medicine and the energy to become the doctor I aspire came back. However, I still had to face my demons and deal with the most painful side of emergency medicine: Delivering bad news.

“Most of the time, the fact that you care is enough”​ is one of the most effective pieces of advice that I ever received. It helped me relieve the intense pain that I didn’t even know it was there. I still remind others and myself of it regularly.

For example, I dealt with the tragic case of pediatric cardiac arrest, brought in by another medical team. We did CPR over an hour, as this was a very delicate situation with a child. At the debriefing, I was careful with both teams from the other hospital and our own. Although I was worried about having the conversation I did, I was shocked and stunned to hear the reply. The doctor shrugged and said:

– Yeah, right. Can I go now?

He was in a rush. He didn’t even want to hear the debriefing. He didn’t appear to care! The disdain broke my spirit, and the whole team felt the same anger. It made everything harder to cope.

I took a deep breath, thanked the team for all the effort, asked them to prepare the body, and went to the waiting room to talk once again with the father. I had been there a lot of times, talking through everything as we were trying to resuscitate, so he already knew me, and immediately recognized my expression of bad news. I sat next to him and told him everything we did. I was trying to remedy the anguish while allowing time for understanding.

– There was nothing more we could do. I’m so sorry, but he died.

The father stared at the floor for a while.

– My wife is eight months pregnant. What should I do now?

He was in despair. Next came tears. I waited. Present. Then, he looked at me with honest:

– Thank you, doctor, for everything you did.

I will never forget them.

“Most of the time, the fact that you care is enough.”

I can’t stop people from getting sick. I can’t even guarantee who will survive, much less, meet the expectations of families. I can’t fix all the system by myself. Yet, I can show that we care, which is now my purpose and mantra.

Now, when I have to deliver bad news, I try my best to be there and look in the eyes. I patiently wait to make sure until there is no doubt. I don’t try to hide my feelings, ​and I finally feel I’m always telling the truth:

– We are doing everything we can.

I ensure that they know​ we care.​ I make a difference there. My pain eases as theirs alleviates even a little.

“Most of the time, the fact that you care is enough.”

I can’t stop people from getting sick. I can’t even guarantee who will survive, much less, meet the expectations of families. I can’t fix all the system by myself. Yet, I can show that we care, which is now my purpose and mantra.

Finding My Ikigai

ikigai

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being.” In English, the word roughly means “thing that you live for” or “the reason for which you wake up in the morning.” Each individual’s ikigai is personal and specific to their lives, ​values​ , and ​beliefs​. It reflects the ​inner self​ and faithfully expresses that, while simultaneously creating a mental state​ in which the individual feels at ease.

The thing I like most about ikigai is that it is for everyone. You have to understand yourself to achieve this deeply. Seeking self-knowledge can be the most challenging part.

– Am I doing something that I love?
– Am I doing something that the world needs?
– Am I doing something that I am good at?
– Am I doing something that I can be paid for?

YES!

So, where am I now?

Well, I still love heart attacks! I love the look of amazement of the interns when we save a life. I love the self-satisfaction of the residents when they can do something correctly for the first time. I love how happy the team gets when we can do perfect resuscitation. I love the peculiarities of each patient, their life, culture, and beliefs. I love to learn something new every day. ​And that’s why Emergency Medicine!

I love heart attacks! But when we can't save, when the system fails, when the patient dies but I feel that I softened the pain, even a little bit, by showing that we care, I know I can endure.

And that's why, me.

Cite this article as: Jule Santos, "Why Me? The Story of My Burnout – Part 3," in International Emergency Medicine Education Project, January 6, 2020, https://iem-student.org/2020/01/06/emergency-medicine-why-me-the-story-of-my-burnout-part-3/, date accessed: February 29, 2020

Why Me? The Story of My Burnout – Part 2

Why Me? The Story of My Burnout - Part 2

The story continues from link (Part 1)

I had already been tired and sad. Now, I was also feeling wronged.

The Dangers of Burnout

It meant that heart attacks stopped being exciting. I started to resent them as they now caused me to suffer. I have nowhere else to refer the patient, or the specialty doctors criticized me. 

They mistreated me, perhaps because of a lack of trust, or they too were damaged by the system. Maybe it was about payments and expenses. I did not know, but the effort of constant fighting was exhausting.

The system hit me hard. It was clear: irritation, stress, discontent, three quarrels with my team and my superiors in one week. I was burned out. That was putting my good work at risk.

Sad person

I felt like everything I was doing was meaningless. I aspired to become the best possible doctor through studying, traveling and sharing, but I always returned to the conditions that made me feel that all was in vain. My stagnant environment was full of burnout people, unjust deaths and endless problems regarding insufficient resources versus higher and higher demand.

That saddest thing in medicine is a doctor without hope.

I felt that each patient brought more pain than joy, even when we had excellent outcomes. It made me sick. I felt like I had unlearned hope. To make matters worse, I could not contain these emotions.

One day a patient asked me, “Am I going to die, doctor?”

I had just seen the results. It suggested cancer, but what would happen now? We wanted an expert to lead him, necessitating an evaluation by the oncologist. Still, the oncologist would not see the patient until the biopsy result, despite the imaging strongly suggested cancer. That meant we had to ask the general surgeon to do the biopsy, but in return, he asked us to refer the patient to another surgical specialty, based on the location of the tumor. So we tried, but this type of specialist did not serve in our region.

The patient’s and our growing stress and conflict eventually led the general surgeon to do the biopsy, but the patient had to wait 30 to 45 more days for the result. Only then, he would be able to go back to the oncologist. When he did, tho oncologist asked us for phenotyping. One more week passed until we finally get the patient to oncology, only to be declared too sick for treatment.

I had experienced this so many times before. Meanwhile, patients were getting more sick, and repeatedly ended up in the emergency department, sometimes got admitted, only to treat infections or pain. In the end, they were sent by the internist to die in our emergency room. They could not do end-of-life care properly. I frequently talked to an enraged family, not because of cancer, but because they were led to believe there was a chance of treatment.

My opinion is that the problem wasn’t lying to the patient about cure cancer, but how often the system don’t even give them this chance of a fight, lying about a chance to treat, but in really being just harmful for everybody because disorganization, corruption, and for didn’t care.

We do not cure death. Ever.

Sometimes we can prolong life. We hope for a good life with meaning, so that they can enjoy some more years, months, weeks or days of celebration, and prepare their wishes for a decent death with their family.

My opinion is that this realization is important not only when we talk about cancer, but any condition, even like a heart attack. We do not cure death, ever.

Coming back to that new patient, the words and the questions bounced in my head:

– Am I going to die, doctor?
– Don’t think about it now. We will take care of you.

I don’t know what the patient saw in me. To me, It felt like lying. When I said we would do our best, it wasn’t me but the system lying. Even if we as emergency physicians or I as an individual did everything possible, I felt the system didn’t care. I knew the system could do better. What could I say when I knew that the journey I want for my patients is so unachievable in the system I work in. I no longer knew what to say under these circumstances, and I felt the patient recognized that in my soul.

I felt hurt, guilty, beaten, and bitter.

That saddest thing in medicine is a doctor without hope.

I never thought this could happen to me. Not with me! How could this happen to me? I was in love with Emergency Medicine! Wasn’t I?

I’d said a billion times how I loved Emergency Medicine and didn’t know how to live without it. I’d shared my passion, convincing others that Emergency Medicine was the answer. Now, it felt like Emergency Medicine was killing me. And worst, I felt that I was not doing good for my patients as my lies were hurting them.

I must take a deep breath. I must ask for help. ...to be continued...

Cite this article as: Jule Santos, "Why Me? The Story of My Burnout – Part 2," in International Emergency Medicine Education Project, January 3, 2020, https://iem-student.org/2020/01/03/why-me-the-story-of-my-burnout-part-2/, date accessed: February 29, 2020

Why Me? The Story of My Burnout – Part 1

why me - the story of my burnout

This story starts like almost every other: I fell in love.

The thing is, I LOVE heart attacks!

I know this is a weird statement, maybe even a little ​overstated. I know that people can get uncomfortable when I say this. When I said it for the first time, full of enthusiasm and with sparkling eyes, my ex-fiance looked at me in a concerned and puzzled way: ‘Can you say that?​’ – He asked, wondering if it was appropriate for a doctor to say that they actually enjoyed the experience of people being so unwell.

Clearly, as a doctor, I have nothing against people. Quite the contrary, I unceasingly fight for them to survive and thrive. Yet the paradox is real, despite my battle to save my patients, I am so in love with heart attacks!

Why? Perhaps I love the puzzle behind it. When the patient arrives, I see the position of the body, the hand on the chest, fingers tightly pressed against the skin, the skin color, the sweating… I consider the nuances of pain types, the comorbidities, the risk factors… All are informing my judgment and decisions even before I get to look at the ECG.

I love knowing the diagnosis as it reveals itself. I love that I can treat it. And when it works, I’m the queen of my craft. The scores of survival game change. 1 for me, 1 for my patient, and 0 for the heart attack!

So that’s why you would see me so happy when a patient arrives in my ED. I love this feeling. I love this adrenaline rush that is emergency medicine and me! I love leading a code, guiding actions, organizing my team to the point of ROSC. I love that roaring energy that runs through the whole team as we effortlessly move to the next stage of resuscitation.

This is why I love Emergency Medicine.

Emergency Medicine is new In Brazil. The general assumption is that ED is where junior physicians serve until they choose another specialty or other specialists work to earn additional income. Until recently, working in the ED was a difficult job with no career advancement. So, when I realized that I was so in love with more than heart attacks that I could not leave my work as an Emergency Physician, people started to ask me, “Are you sure? Do you want to work forever in an ED in Brazil? What about when you get older? Don’t you think you will get tired and burned out?”

jule santos

I don’t think so. I reply, I love my job. When you love your job, you don’t ever get tired.”

How naive I was.

Emergency medicine is tough, sometimes even painful. Deaths, we can’t help. Diagnoses of incurable diseases. Bad news. The pressure to be good, perfect, productive. Adding to that, many of us work in corrosive health systems: The result? Emergency Medicine can burn you to your core.

Being in love​ with Emergency Medicine is enough to protect us?

Emergency Medicine can burn you to your core.

Leaving the Comfort Zone

I am a curious soul. While I learned more about emergency medicine, I discovered another world with worldwide Emergency Physicians, who could understand my difficulties and help me learn remotely from them. I fell in love again with #FOAMed.

Hearing the experiences of my colleagues from all around the world inspired me to travel and meet those people. I wanted to learn with them and to compare how Emergency Medicine is in those places.

I love #FOAMED

My newly found calling took me to Sydney in Australia, such a lovely country, which had beautiful and polite people, good public transportation, beautiful scenery, and even a public healthcare system too!

I was lucky enough to spend time in an excellent hospital in NSW. I witnessed them receiving a trauma patient and listened to them as they plan patient management. I was speechless. I felt a sudden sadness to the degree that I wanted to crawl back to my mother’s womb.

When I tell this story, people often react, “You don’t need fancy stuff to practice Emergency Medicine,” but it was not what I saw there. What was it? It wasn’t the video laryngoscopy. It wasn’t the infinite bougies and disposable LMAs. That’s true: The facilities in Australia were incredible and so much more were available than back home in Brazil. But it was still the people.

When the paramedic team arrived, the whole team discussed the patient plan. They were so courteous and respectful to each other, focused only on doing the best for the patient. They were excited about the case, energized, and happy for doing their best.

I’m not saying their life is easy. I’m not saying they don’t suffer moral injury. But I’m sure they don’t show ill-will to their peers and most importantly, to their patients. I want so badly to be able to do that kind of medicine, but the realization of this new health system made me feel envious and perhaps even hopeless. Their experience was so positively different from mine.

Teamwork

I spent the next day in my room, lying depressed in bed, staring at the ceiling, trying to figure out what to do now: “How I would love to have that experience in my hospital!”

I thought a lot about what happened there. Why did it hit me so hard? I knew that not all hospitals were the same in Australia as some hospitals had problems and struggles like in Brazil. I already knew that we had hospitals in Brazil better than mine. Why did I feel so hopeless then?

Now, looking back, I can understand better. I was pushing my comfort zone further than I ever did in my entire life. I was discovering a lot about myself and my capabilities. I was achieving success through FOAM. And so, I saw my limitations, I strumbled in a deep Impostor Syndrome and lost some excellent opportunities. I was in such a fragile mindstate that I felt like the system was unfair to me.

Sad Clown

In my hospital, which is always overcrowded, I work with physicians that don’t have the mindset of Emergency Medicine. When a trauma patient arrives, it feels like a battle. Physicians challenge paramedics: ​“Why did you bring this patient here when we don’t have bed enough?”​ or​ ​“​we don’t have enough surgeons!” or “why does nothing here work?”

All too frequently, the team ends up shouting at each other.

I tried hard to spread the ideas and visions I was learning. One time, I asked for an ultrasound machine, my boss laughed in my face: “Where do you think you are?” Everybody seemed so consumed by pessimism and fatigue that they lost all hope.

I had already been tired and sad. Now, I was also feeling wronged. ...to be continued...

Cite this article as: Jule Santos, "Why Me? The Story of My Burnout – Part 1," in International Emergency Medicine Education Project, December 30, 2019, https://iem-student.org/2019/12/30/why-me-the-story-of-my-burnout-part-1/, date accessed: February 29, 2020

Adventures on the Annapurna Circuit

For this blog entry, I want to share two issues I encountered while traveling in Nepal, just shy of my graduation from medical school: acute mountain sickness (AMS) and responding to a wilderness medicine incident as a medical trainee.

There is nothing more glorious

There is nothing more glorious than the period just after finishing medical school and before residency! For me, the highlight was being able to hike in Nepal. With the long travel time from Canada, and the multi-day itineraries most hikes necessitate, the post-grad period seemed like the ideal opportunity to make my dream of visiting the Himalayas come true.

Courtesy of Helene Morakis
Courtesy of Helene Morakis

I wrote my medical licensing exam, hopped on a flight and got ready to soak up the change of pace. While traveling, I found time to relax, (tried my best to) practice mindfulness and experienced the incredible kindness of Nepali people. Traveling was the perfect recharge that now has me geared up and excited for residency.

Annapurna Circuit

A few weeks before leaving for my travels, I began researching the Annapurna Circuit (APC). Having grown up at a staggering 240m above sea level in the Canadian prairies, I felt threatened by the Thorong La pass, which at 5416m is the highest part of the trek. My highest previous experience at altitude was 4200 meters, where I (unfortunately) developed Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). My history of having AMS and following a typical itinerary for the APC put me at moderate risk for AMS(1). I decided to heed the Wilderness Medicine Society’s recommendation to take acetazolamide 125mg every 12 hours as prophylaxis(1).

Table reproduced from Luks, A. M. et. al 2019

While on the trek, I overheard many myths about AMS and sensed a general reluctance to take acetazolamide as prophylaxis(2). Himalayan Rescue Association does free daily teaching about AMS on the APC in Manang and on the Everest Base Camp trek as well(3). As we moved to higher altitudes, many guest houses and Annapurna Conservation Area Project outposts had accurate information about AMS and its consequences (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema and High Altitude Cerebral Edema). Surprisingly, despite this teaching and the availability of acetazolamide on the trail for purchase, there are still hikers that routinely require evacuation due to AMS, some by helicopter.

On the day before crossing the Thorong La Pass, I stopped for lunch with some trekking mates at Thorong Phedi (4538m). A few minutes passed before someone came into the guesthouse, visibly worried, requesting help from a doctor. It took me a few seconds (and my friends practically lifting me off my seat) to register that I could help! I was thankful to be hiking with an experienced nurse and we went to see the hiker together.

We were asked to see a fit hiker in his 60’s whose foot had been the victim of a rockslide. I clarified my training as a fourth-year medical student before asking details about the mechanism of injury and his past medical history. The hiker and his family were concerned and asked me to “rule out” a fracture. With positive Ottawa Ankle Rules findings, I wished for an X-Ray machine to rule out a clinically significant fracture(4). Keeping in mind there was no road access – the nearest road before the camp was in Manang (3500m, 15km away) or in Muktinath (3800m, 16km away) after the pass – the only ways out were by donkey or helicopter.

From a wilderness medicine standpoint, the injury was by all measures considered stable and the patient did not require an evacuation [reproduced from Isaac & Johnson 2013](5):

  • No deformity or instability on exam

  • No sense of instability reported by patient

  • Able to move and weight bear after accident

  • Distal circulation, sensation, movement (CSM) intact

  • Slow onset of swelling

  • Pain proportional to apparent injury

After a discussion with the patient, we decided that treating the injury as “stable” was reasonable and accepted the risk of delaying healing of a potential fracture. I recommended 24 hours of rest, ice (which kept the patient’s family busy fetching snow!), and elevation. I gave them ibuprofen to be administered on a regular schedule and instructed them to monitor CSM and plan an evacuation if there were any signs of impairment. I told the patient to continue the hike the following day if the pain did not increase with activity and to obtain medical follow up once they had returned to the city.

In hindsight, I recognized that I should have documented the encounter. I had written down the dosing of ibuprofen for the family, but I did not write a detailed SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment and plan) note. Properly documenting wilderness medicine encounters was a skill I learned in Advanced Wilderness Life Support. When we met the patient, he was generally well other than his foot injury. What if the patient’s condition worsened? What if the family forgot the plan in the stress of the situation?

I also found myself wondering about this patient long after I had left them. Reflecting upon this, I recognized that it is easier to “discharge” someone from an urban Canadian ED, where I have had most of my clinical experience because I know they can access good care if things change. The huge potential on the trail for loss to follow up made documentation much more vital in this case.

Later on, I pondered about the potential legal ramifications of helping this hiker. In Ontario, Good Samaritan laws protect health care professionals who provide first aid(6). From my understanding, there are no similar laws in Nepal, and there have been calls to define the rights and duties of those who witness or are requested to aid with an injury in the country(7).

In Nepal, I had a much-needed change of pace from medical school and plenty of time for reflection. I was inspired to see many organizations work together to educate guides, locals and hikers about AMS and hope to spend some time volunteering at the Himalayan Rescue Association in the future. Even after wilderness medicine training, being asked to provide first aid on the trail as a soon to be medical graduate caught me by surprise. I was happy to help and be able to have an approach to the patient in a low resource setting – and now recognize the importance of documentation.

I would like to hear your comments on this article: any experiences dealing with AMS, tips and tricks for musculoskeletal injuries in the wilderness setting, advice for navigating giving medical treatment outside of a hospital as a trainee or anything you would have done differently.

Courtesy of Helene Morakis

References

  1. Luks, A. M., Auerbach, P. S., Freer, L., Grissom, C. K., Keyes, L. E., McIntosh, S. E., … Hackett, P. H. (2019). Wilderness Medical Society Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Acute Altitude Illness: 2019 Update. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wem.2019.04.006
  2. Kilner, T., & Mukerji, S. (2010). Acute mountain sickness prophylaxis: Knowledge, attitudes, & behaviours in the Everest region of Nepal. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 8(6), 395–400. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tmaid.2010.09.004
  3. Himalayan Rescue Association. (2019). [online] Available at https://himalayanrescue.org.np/ [Accessed 30 Jun. 2019].
  4. Stiell IG, Greenberg GH, McKnight RD, Nair RC, McDowell I, Worthington JR. A study to develop clinical decision rules for the use of radiography in acute ankle injuries. Ann Emerg Med. 1992; 21:384–90.
  5. Isaac, J. E., & Johnson, D. E. (2013). Chapter 13: Musculoskeletal Injury. In Wilderness and Rescue Medicine (pp. 84–85). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  6. Good Samaritan Act, Government of Ontario (2001). Retrieved from the Ontario e-Laws website: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/01g02
  7. Pandey, S. (2014). Good Samaritans. [online] The Kathmandu Post. Available at: https://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2014-07-13/good-samaritans.html [Accessed 30 Jun. 2019].

Further Reading

Cite this article as: Helene Morakis, "Adventures on the Annapurna Circuit," in International Emergency Medicine Education Project, July 12, 2019, https://iem-student.org/2019/07/12/adventures-on-the-annapurna-circuit/, date accessed: February 29, 2020

Wellness Books For Medical Students

We recently asked FOAMed family!

Dear #FOAMed family. Which books are you recommending for medical students for wellness, wellbeing, life-work balance? @umanamd @EM_Educator @amalmattu @srrezaie @TracySansonMD @CriticalCareNow @SocraticEM @EM_RESUS @EMEducation @Core_EM @emcrit @EMSwami @ALiEMteam @EMManchester

— iem-student (@iem_student) April 9, 2019

Thanks to all FOAMed leaders and enthusiasts for their answers. We received fantastic book recommendations for our students.

Although some of the books are not directly related to wellness, their content indirectly guides you to be more competent, mindful, grateful, happy in order to reach your life long wellbeing.

Here are amazing recommendations through twitter responses! (alphabetical order)

  • Being mortal
  • Daring greatly
  • Deep survival
  • Deep work
  • Designing your life
  • Enjoy every sandwich
  • Everything happens for a reason
  • Extreme ownership
  • Factfulness
  • Getting things done
  • Grit
  • How to win friends & influence people
  • How will you measure your life
  • Ikigai
  • In shock
  • Inclusion and diversity in workplace
  • Leaders eat last
  • Man’s search for meaning
  • Mindset
  • No ego
  • Peak
  • Rigor mortis
  • The 7 habits of highly effective people
  • The power of habit
  • The upside of stress
  • When breath becomes air
  • Why we sleep

You can find exact twitter messages including authors of the books below.

Recent Top Reads…

1. Why We Sleep.
2. Peak.
3. How to Win Friends & Influence People.
4. The Power of Habit.
5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
6. Being Mortal.
7. Extreme Ownership.

– and audiobook thats shiz, let someone else do the reading 🤓

— Tiarnán Byrne (@TiarnanByrne) April 9, 2019

For the mentioned theme: How Will You Measure Your Life by @claychristensen; No Ego by @CyWakeman; Designing Your Life; I know @akkalantari really likes The Upside of Stress by @kellymcgonigal (it’s on my read this year pile…)

— Rob Cooney, MD, MEd (@EMEducation) April 9, 2019

In Shock by Rana Awdish. When the doctor becomes a patient with a critical illness.

— Larissa Velez (@LvelezEM) April 9, 2019

I would say When Breath Becomes Air. Highlights our field’s purpose, the role of humanity within patient-doctor interactions, and the importance of how we choose to spend our numbered days and how it impacts our family. pic.twitter.com/j98s2x7bcS

— Brian Gilberti (@User238345) April 9, 2019

@stemlyns resuscitationist’s guide to wellbeing is particularly good.
Busy by Geoff Crabbe. (productive does not mean inbox zero)
Daring greatly @BreneBrown
Emotional agility Susan David

— Louise Rang (@RangLouise) April 9, 2019

Amazing book recommendations for wellness and beyond. I like to add DEEP SURVIVAL-Laurence Gonzales, FACTFULNESS-Hans Rosling, IKIGAI-H.Garcia & F.Miralles, GETTING THINGS DONE-David Allen. pic.twitter.com/s43jTtLtvk

— Arif Alper Cevik (@drcevik) April 10, 2019

It’s an awesome book about being grateful….

It’s amazing. pic.twitter.com/zEbCLGPdfT

— Rob Rogers, M.D. 🎤🎧 (@EM_Educator) April 9, 2019

IMO every medical student should be required to read (or listen to audio-book) Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends & Influence People” before being allowed to graduate; this would make you a better physician than reading ANY medical textbook. I still re-read this every few years. https://t.co/iJJeerzxXJ

— Amal Mattu (@amalmattu) April 9, 2019

Grit @angeladuckw + Mindset – Carol Dweck
Not standard “wellness” books but, they teach us important lessons about learning to succeed after failure, being flexible in how we think that have greatly contributed to my inner balance

— Anand Swaminathan (@EMSwami) April 9, 2019

Reading “In Shock” now and will be recommending to my medical students.

— Haney Mallemat (@CriticalCareNow) April 10, 2019

Leaders Eat Last by @simonsinek ; Being Mortal by @Atul_Gawande ; Deep Work by Cal Newport; Inclusion and Diversity in the Workplace by @jenniferbrown and Daring Greatly by @BreneBrown That’s just for this month. And Rigor Mortis-not a wellness book, but a must read. #FOAMed

— Kinjal Sethuraman (@KinjNS) April 9, 2019

This book helps put everything in life in perspective.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

— William F Toon (@wftoon) April 9, 2019

Everything happens for a reason @KatecBowler Because life and each day we get to have this relationship with our patients is a gift.

— Amber Bowman (@AmberLBowman96) April 10, 2019

Here is the full list, again!

  1. Being mortal
  2. Daring greatly
  3. Deep survival
  4. Deep work
  5. Designing your life
  6. Enjoy every sandwich
  7. Everything happens for a reason
  8. Extreme ownership
  9. Factfulness
  10. Getting things done
  11. Grit
  12. How to win friends & influence people
  13. How will you measure your life
  14. Ikigai
  15. In shock
  16. Inclusion and diversity in workplace
  17. Leaders eat last
  18. Man’s search for meaning
  19. Mindset
  20. No ego
  21. Peak
  22. Rigor mortis
  23. The 7 habits of highly effective people
  24. The power of habit
  25. The upside of stress
  26. When breath becomes air
  27. Why we sleep

Also Read!

Wellness Cards

We share the wellness cards including ACEP Wellness Recommendations.

Also Read!

Wellness Week

Dear students! This week is exceptional for all emergency medicine professionals. EMERGENCY MEDICINE WELLNESS WEEK (EMWW).

EMWW is created by ACEP to remind emergency physicians and their colleagues “we are human, we should take care of ourselves, self-renew, enjoy life.”

It is also crucial for medical students. Your health is most important! Taking care of yourselves is your priority. Therefore, eat well, sleep well and be physically active while you are in medical school. Learn healthy lifestyle now and apply it.

If you do not know and apply healthy lifestyles, how you can stay healthy, and more importantly, how you can convince your patients to change their lifestyle.

ACEP has many recommendations

Diet
Increase healthy food intake – such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, water

Eat breakfast

Drink less alcohol and/or coffee

Lose 1 pound or 0.5 kilogram – Hint: don’t forget to track your progress and report at the end of EM Wellness Week

Try a new and fun healthy food

Exercise
Keep track of steps (or miles) with set pre-determined daily goal

Try new type of exercise you might enjoy – yoga, Zumba, circuit training, spin, a new sport – Hint: Some local gyms, yoga studios or sports classes will let you try their service for a 1-week trial in conjunction with EM Wellness Week

Self-monitor your personal wellness

Sleep
Sleep in blocks of at least 3 to 4 hours, with 1 or 2 blocks per 24-hour period to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep

Work with your scheduler to initiate rotating shifts in a clockwise manner for scheduling caregivers that work a variety of shift times

Set the alarm to GO TO bed

Create a better sleep environment (such as a quiet and cool room, white noise, room-darkening shades, sign on the door that says “day sleeper”)

Sleep with your partner

Stop smoking

Others
Write a letter to someone you want to thank, or offer an apology, then personally deliver the letter

Write a simple thank you note to someone

Have dinner with your family or friend(s) and turn off all electronic devices during the meal

Surprise call or visit someone you care about and could like to reconnect with, “if only you had time.”

Spirituality
Reconnect with places or people that inspire you spiritually

Spiritual involvement with your faith

Learn to meditate: use online resources or take a class

Take mindfulness training – https://www.fammed.wisc.edu/mindfulness

Community
Volunteer to do something for which you have a passion

Find something outside patient care where you can recharge and recuperate

Write down something you are grateful for each morning

Improve the work environment
Structure an action at work to improve the work environment in the trenches

Participate in conflict resolution training

Develop negotiation skills

Decrease litigation stress

Decrease burnout
Make a connection to your purpose in caring for patients.

Tap into the power and endurance associated with this connection.

Plan and set a date for international volunteer trip with an opportunity to “give back.”

Each day write out one reason you chose Emergency Medicine as your career

Initiate a healthy boundary between work and non-work life area

Reach out to a family member or friend with an “ask” for support

Create focus on work activities that provide the most meaning

Develop Leadership Skills
Read a book on leadership

Learn a new leadership tactic

Take a step to move your career forward

Reach out to someone that will help you advance your career – make an appointment with a mentor, coach or career counselor

Agree to mentor someone who can benefit from your coaching or mentorship

Support another caregiver

Other ways to enhance your career
Do self-monitoring on personal wellness (MBI, Jefferson Empathy Scale, Quality of Life Survey)

Retirement planning

Read this amazing source of wellness for emergency physicians. 

Click to reach more resources by ACEP.

We also recommend below post

Happy Wellness Week!

You can download and share below infographic cards on wellness

Cite this article as: Arif Alper Cevik, "Wellness Week," in International Emergency Medicine Education Project, April 8, 2019, https://iem-student.org/2019/04/08/wellness-week/, date accessed: February 29, 2020

Video Interview – Rob Rogers – Part 3

Great messages for medical students, interns and new EM residents!

Watch the part 3 here!

You can listen full interview here!

Video Interview: Tracy Sanson – Part 3

Are you ready to meet the genuine people behind the professional?

iEM team proudly presents the ICON360 project. In this pleasantly educational series, world-renowned experts will share their habits, give advice on life, wellness and the profession.

Our guest is Dr. Tracy Sanson.

Dr. Sanson is a practicing Emergency Physician. She is a consultant and educator on Leadership development and Medical education and Co-Chief Editor of the Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock; an Emergency Medicine international journal.

Part 3

The full interview is 10 minutes long and includes many advice on life, wellness, and our profession. We will be sharing short videos from this interview. However, the full interview was published as an audio file in our Soundcloud account. 

This interview was recorded during the EACEM2018 in Turkey. We thank EMAT.

The interview was recorded and produced by

Arif Alper Cevik

Elif Dilek Cakal

Murat Cetin

Video Interview: Tracy Sanson – Part 2

Are you ready to meet the genuine people behind the professional?

iEM team proudly presents the ICON360 project. In this pleasantly educational series, world-renowned experts will share their habits, give advice on life, wellness and the profession.

Our guest is Dr. Tracy Sanson.

Dr. Sanson is a practicing Emergency Physician. She is a consultant and educator on Leadership development and Medical education and Co-Chief Editor of the Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock; an Emergency Medicine international journal.

Part 2

The full interview is 10 minutes long and includes many advice on life, wellness, and our profession. We will be sharing short videos from this interview. However, the full interview was published as an audio file in our Soundcloud account. 

This interview was recorded during the EACEM2018 in Turkey. We thank EMAT.

The interview was recorded and produced by

Arif Alper Cevik

Elif Dilek Cakal

Murat Cetin

Video Interview: Tracy Sanson – Part 1

Are you ready to meet the genuine people behind the professional?

iEM team proudly presents the ICON360 project. In this pleasantly educational series, world-renowned experts will share their habits, give advice on life, wellness and the profession.

Our guest is Dr. Tracy Sanson.

Dr. Sanson is a practicing Emergency Physician. She is a consultant and educator on Leadership development and Medical education and Co-Chief Editor of the Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock; an Emergency Medicine international journal.

Part 1

The full interview is 10 minutes long and includes many advice on life, wellness, and our profession. We will be sharing short videos from this interview. However, the full interview was published as an audio file in our Soundcloud account. 

This interview was recorded during the EACEM2018 in Turkey. We thank EMAT.

The interview was recorded and produced by

Arif Alper Cevik

Elif Dilek Cakal

Murat Cetin

Five Tips About Well-being During and After Medical School

Even the best of us suffer from burnout from time to time. It is utterly human as training in medicine is very demanding itself and combined with the life issues it can be weary. Well, we can control the chaos. Here are five tips for creating a system to support long term-term success and a happy life.

1

Adopt a healthy lifestyle and be persistent: Back to basics: Embrace a sustainable, healthy diet; drink approximately eight glass of water; sleep at least eight hours a day and exercise regularly. You need to take care of your body: A healthy diet and adequate water enhance stamina; regular and enough sleep promotes learning, memory, stress relief and performance; exercising helps you to relieve stress and increases endurance. Sacrificing any of these for studying more does not miraculously help you reach success. Building a career is a long path: You have to stay strong.

For more on this topic: National Health Service, Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker 

2

Regulate your time wisely: Have you ever met an astonishingly successful professional who seems to be participating in every social activity? Do not fret! Learning how to manage your time will get you there. Let me share a few tricks with you: Decide your priorities and learn to say “no” to the rest. Spending ten minutes to planning your day will sometimes save you a few hours – hours that you may spend on your hobbies or with your family or friends. Conquer procrastination and do it now! Create a study area and be minimalist about it. Get rid of your phone (and your social media accounts!) while studying. If you feel you lose your focus, it is probably time for a break. A bullet journal is an excellent way to plan your day, month and future.

For more on this topic: Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy, Bullet Journal, Work Life Balance

3

Regulate your Energy Wisely: Managing your time is essential but not enough. If you have ever struggled not to sleep in the second half of a 2-hour lecture, then you are not alone. Energy management, a newer concept than time management, is about to change our beliefs related to performance and happiness. Here are a few basics: According to Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, you must be physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused and spiritually aligned for long-term performance, health and happiness. Overuse and underuse will hinder your energy, you need to balance your energy expenditure by intentional challenges and resting in between. Studying continuously will damage your performance in the long term.

For more on this topic: The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz

4

Recognize and change your values: Identify your priorities. If you are prioritizing medicine over your health and happiness, you are in the wrong. You and your well-being are your top priorities. Your job or your academic performance does not define you, you are more than that. Determine your personal and professional long-term goals, then create a road map. Check and update your goals regularly. Do not let the first bump on the road demotivate you; if you stay persistent, you will reach your goals sooner or later.

For more on this topic: How To Make Work-Life Balance Work by Nigel Marsh

5

Spend quality time with your family and friends: If you think that you can accomplish all by yourself, think again. Spending quality time with your friend and family has numerous personal and professional benefits: It helps you to relieve stress, create an early network and a supportive net, diversify your area of interests, rest your mind by distracting it away from medicine. Always remember: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

For more on this topic: Why It’s Important to Spend More Time with Friends and Family, 4 Reasons Friends And Family Are Good For Your Health