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Showing posts from April, 2013

Pushing "Reset"

Photo credit: systemserenity.com
"We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden."  - Goethe
The culmination of my professional training - the American Board of Anesthesiology Oral Board Examination - has finally come and gone. When I say "culmination", I really mean it: after undergraduate school and then a brief stint as an engineer, I completed two years of graduate school, 4 years of medical school, and 4 years of residency training (with some small glitches along the way) to get to the point of being a board-certified anesthesiologist. And now, after roughly an hour of Socratic method-style oral Q&A in a hotel suite on the 15th floor of a fancy Marriot hotel in Miami (I know, sounds surreal, like a scene in a spy movie), it's all over (assuming I passed... tbd in a month or so!) No more formal testing of any kind until recertification in 10 years!!!

In reality, being a professional means you are never really "done" st…

Gossip: The Donut of Stress Relief

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 We all cope with stress in our lives using good techniques and not-so-good techniques. I'm knee-deep in preparation for my upcoming oral board examination, and to act like I'm handling the stress perfectly would be a complete fake out. I have fallen into some of my own old, less effective habits (chocolate, anyone?)... but by taking a few minutes out for personal reflection or talking with friends/loved ones (two of the positive tools I commonly use), I've been able to identify and minimize some of the coping methods that aren't as effective.


The other day while struggling to place an IV on my first patient, I was chastised by the surgeon for not coming back to the OR on time. (We are all tracked by hospital administration on our records for "on-time" arrivals to the OR each morning). Of course I always strive to be efficient and on time, but when safety or patient-related factors preclude this from happening, such is life. Unfortunately, some surgeon…