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What are you thankful for this year?

thankful Oct 09, 2020

                    🦃                🍂                  🍁

I hope you are preparing for a Thanksgiving weekend with your loved ones.  Virtual or in-person, this year has had it's handful of challenges!  I know many of you have pivoted in your clinical day.  It can seem a never-ending challenge, this year more than ever.

Sometimes despair, overwhelm and fatigue can dominate our mental space.  It can feel like these challenges will never end, we will never get it all done.

I hear you, I have had some of those moments even this week.  I think my husband heard my thoughts.  He simply said "Sarah, what day of work is this for you?" I stopped and considered this question.  Day 9.

I worked the weekend on call.  He did not hear the calls every 20 minutes starting as I got home and into bed at midnight.  He didn't hear any of it until it rang for the 6th time and I rolled out of bed with a half roar at my ringing phone "Oh F** OFF!"  and then stormed out and just drove to the hospital,  I was thinking: clearly I was not supposed to sleep tonight.

Don't worry I didn't yell at any patients or staff.  You put on your game face. You get into doctor mode. You fake it until you make it.

Sometimes this looks like a super cranky version of me (I apologize but sometimes I am not at my best at 0200).  Until I get to the door..."Right, game face".  I find my most compassionate and most powerful thought "The human in the room NEEDS me now.  Let's go and help the human in the room".

There's a shift, a noticeable shift, I concentrate on the human.  The human is hurting and scared.  The human does not know medicine.  The human needs my help.  Then as I engage the human becomes a name and a story, I love them, I want to help.  Yes the rage is gone.  I am doing my job.  I am helping and suddenly I WANT to be here, helping and I become the absolute best doctor for the job.

I want to ask you if your game face is fraying at the seams? Is there a mental load that you are having trouble overcoming? Are you seeing the patients but drowning everywhere else?

I want to encourage you that you are not alone.  Also, you are so INCREDIBLY VALUED AND AWESOME.  It's time to invest in yourself.  It's time to get help.

Help can look like a colleague. 

Help can look like a physician support line.

Help can look like a therapist. 

Help can look like a physician coach.

We all have different ways to help you.  But have no doubt, yes we can help you.  It doesn't have to be such a struggle.


Back to my 9 of work.  My spouse knows.  He simply asked the question "Sarah, what day of work is this for you?".  It focused my attention.  "Oh, no wonder  I am so inattentive and want to quit", I say.  "Yes, he answered, "You always want to quit on day 9 and post call".

Then I do the things: Close the computer, pick up a book, go for a walk with the dogs, admire the fall leaves.  I choose to be compassionate to the doctor who is day 9 of work and has more days ahead of her.


I finished up 2 books this week.  This was my gift to myself.  An hour before bedtime to read and wind down.

I am incredibly grateful to have the long weekend of Thanksgiving to STOP working. 

I am incredibly grateful to be the coach that helps physicians get their charting done. 

I am incredibly grateful for a husband who reminds me that I am fraying at the seams for a reason.


Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!   Think about whether you are ready for help..

xx Sarah, the Charting Coach

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