Before committing to medicine, my career path led me to work as an elementary school teacher and a professional wedding and portrait photographer. The transformation to medical student occurred gradually, via explorations in arts-in-medicine and yoga. I guess my identity lies less in one particular interest and more in the fluidity of continuous exploration. I joke about being a serial career shifter, but truthfully my career is as cumulative as life itself. I carry insights from each distinct phase, as every new endeavor builds upon the last and transforms me into a slightly more capable version of myself.
My experience with art helps me to see beauty in unexpected places. Teaching children reminds me of the power of curiosity. Practicing yoga assures me that I can indeed do challenging and uncomfortable things. I suppose each important layer of who I have been holds space for who I am and integrates with who I am becoming: teacher, photographer, yogi, lifelong learner, community servant, doctor.
Originally published on Without the White Coat's instagram page, December 2018.
Without the White Coat is a project started by our friends Jason and Harris Onugha to promote humanism in medicine. They seek out individuals in the medical community who exemplify work-life balance, or work-life “fit” as I like to call it, in various ways through the activities they choose to incorporate into their lives. I have found that seeking out challenges and chasing curiosities in multiple realms keeps me engaged with the world around me and thereby improves my ability to relate to patients and colleagues in meaningful ways.