By Lauren B. Nosanov
Steeling myself for an incoming 5 year-old MVC victim with reportedly fixed and dilated pupils per the EMS report, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that my own children are safely asleep in their own beds.
In this circumstance, and plenty of others, being grateful comes easily. Each day, surgical residency pits us against the horrible, messy reality of being human. The suffering of our patients offers endless opportunities to take stock of our own fortune and breathe a sigh of relief. Yet gratitude does not always come as readily as perhaps it should.
At hour twenty-three of a grueling call, amidst a raging migraine and the incessant chirping of the pager, it is far easier to wallow in self-pity. Finding the capacity to be grateful in these moments requires a great deal of fortitude (and a strong cup of coffee or two), and is something I continue to struggle with on a daily basis. It is a matter of perspective, and requires conscious intent.
Although there are times when it seems completely impossible to achieve balance between the hectic demands of work and home life, I remind myself that there is no one else and no place else that I would rather be.
Dr. Lauren Nosanov is currently a member of AWS and a general surgery resident at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. She is passionate about issues surrounding surgical education, mentorship, and finding a balance between motherhood and medicine. Outside of medicine she enjoys practicing Taekwondo and spending time with her husband and children.