Pearls of 2012


This is a pic I took on a trail near Stinson beach.

And I’m back! After a short holiday hiatus – I went home for Christmas (first time in the last 3 years!) and had a lovely jaunt of Q2 NICU call to ring in the new year (that’s every other day, 26 hour shifts in the neonatal intensive care unit) – I’m back and looking forward to new beginnings in 2013, for me and my blog!

For me, moving into a new year isn’t so much about resolutions as it is about lessons learned. Here are 3 things I will carry with me from 2012.

3. The Power of Partnerships. In 2011, one of my research interests dovetailed with a colleague of mine who is now a chief resident here at UCSF. We are both excited about the opportunities to use social media in medicine and our collective energy pushed our projects forward in 2012. Here’s what I learned:

  • Collaboration, at its best, builds on the strengths and augments the weaknesses of everyone involved. This maximizes productivity and personal satisfaction in shared projects.
  • Healthy working relationships are based on mutual respect and trust.
  • Clearly delegate responsibilities and assign credit for each portion of a project before you start. In writing is best because you can refer to it if/when confusion about roles/responsibilities arise.

Together, we have written a paper (that is waiting to be published), started a website (to launch in the new year!), submitted an abstract to an academic conference (that was accepted!), and developed teaching tools around our areas of interest (including a new curriculum we are hoping to use in our residency program). The future of medicine is about aligning our collective interests and building something that is bigger than the sum of our individual parts. We will continue to do that in 2013!

2. Change Starts with Me. I have long felt physicians have a responsibility to be vocal members of our body politic. If our nation’s healthcare spending makes up close to 20% of the GDP (one and a half times more than any other country, by the way) and we now know our population’s health is intimately linked to issues of housing, income, education, and local environment, then physicians should be talking about these things, and they need to be speaking publicly. I am starting with myself. This blog is my effort to foster and join national conversations about health in the context of our daily life, work, and play. No topic is off limits. Join me in 2013 as I put my mouth where our nation’s money is and take on the major issues facing medicine and pediatrics today!

1. Life is a Beautiful Mess. My perfectionist tendency has always been to tidy up loose ends and clean my stress away. But I am starting to realize that some parts of life are best left alone – unplanned, unadjusted, un-judged. As the countdown at the bottom of this page reveals, I am graduating soon (really soon) and completing a long stretch (24 years long) of the planning and preparation that traditionally defines higher education. Now it’s time to get off the ride and start a ride of my own. I don’t know what lies ahead for a young pediatrician who’s passionate about finding meaning in clinical medicine and addressing the major social issues facing my field today. But I have a feeling, the ride is going to be exhilarating and exhausting and full of the dips and turns that are worth getting a little messy for.

This is the end of that trail...a new beginning...

This is the end of that trail…a new beginning…

What pearls are you taking from 2012?

Here’s to new beginnings in 2013!