Put the oxygen mask on yourself first before assisting the person next to you

Put the oxygen mask on yourself first before assisting the person next to you

The famous line when seated in a plane during take-off and landing.

In the medical world one is quickly motivated to race off and save humanity working incredible hours, taking empathy to the next level with individual patients and unfortunately often neglecting your own needs.

Self-care often then falls behind which may also include allowing oneself enough time and resources to learn and build on skills and knowledge in order to be of more value to those under your care.

Easier said than done, of course, and where to start.

Here are some steps that could be of value:

  • Establish the ideal version of your professional life, what is it you really want to do.
  • Look at what is required in terms of your lifestyle, your family, friends and other passions you may have.
  • Look what learning pathways provides the training and knowledge to do what you want to do.
  • Make an estimate of the resources required to make it happen.
  • Make a plan and engage with stakeholders which could be your department head, an industry sponsor, a society, family as to getting buy in and support.
  • Realize you have a whole life to live so not everything has to happen all at once.
  • Start, monitor your progress and re assess if it is what you thought it would be, and if not redo the whole thing again.

The message in general is to do what you love doing, that you are good at, what the world needs and that you get paid for doing.