Home may be a curious word to describe my practice, but after 13 years it feels right – it is a home. As doctors, the team members we work with in our office or hospital settings become our work families. There are days we spend more time caring for a sick child than we do seeing our own children, or cases that bring us together for more hours than we are with our spouses, partners or friends. And even in the moments we may physically be with our own families, often we are still available to our patients or our work family.
It is important we work hard to protect our personal relationships. Medicine isn’t an easy calling, and we have likely all lost relationships due to the demands of the job. I can recall rotations where I barely saw the light of day – and sometimes even then it was through a patients’ room window. The time we spend away from the things we love – people, nature, hobbies – can be both the cause and the effect of physician burnout.
And as with any family, there will be disagreements. But let us recognize and remember that heated debates arise from passion and from a will to do our best. And once the dust has settled, let us return to our seat at the table knowing we have much more in common than not: dedication to our patients, our profession and each other.
You can read more about this in my December BC Medical Journal President’s Comment.
I wish you and your family all the best for the holiday season, and look forward to an eventful 2019.