Yesterday, I had a meeting with event organizers composed of medical staff. I was tasked to host a lay forum and a fashion show, one was for menopause and the other was for pregnant women. I instantly said yes when I was offered to host the event. It’s one of the things that I do which I truly enjoy, and it’s also a change of pace from my usual routine of going on duty then going home.
As the meeting was about to conclude, the organizers asked if we have questions about the event. One thing dawned on me, I wasn’t aware why we have these events. For the menopause clinic, I believe that its a way of celebrating women’s month, but for the pregnant fashion show, I asked them, “Why did we have this event?”
People got silent for a few seconds, and they told me to think of a reason and just include it on the script. Oh my God, people have been preparing for this event for more than a month and yet they couldn’t answer me what the fashion show is for.
I figured out that the reason why people are so burnt out in our workplace is because they do not have a north star, a clear purpose. That is all that I was thinking about. These hardworking people do not know why they are organizing this event in the first place. I wasn’t surprised that they weren’t aware. I just got sad.
That meeting made me reflect on what I am doing. Amidst the burnout that is slowly creeping in my body, I still feel connected to my purpose. I know that I am training so that I will have the skills and competencies needed to practice as a medical doctor and to serve the community. I know that I want to help people have access to proper care and make them feel safe and supported despite them battling diseases. I know that if I study well, I could help provide answers and let them take charge of their health even if they don’t have money.
I see medical training as somehow like being an army. You have this rigorous training which is physically and mentally taxing, but at the end of it, you come out as a stronger and more equipped person. You know what to do and you are able to make quick decisions especially when the life of a person is literally on your hands. I see training that way.
If I am not clear with my why, I could have quit a long time ago.
I also see medical training as something like that of studying to be a priest. “It is a calling.” That’s what my friend who is studying to be a priest told me. Medical training is indeed a calling. It is a call for me to serve. How do I know this? There are tons of careers out there that I could have chosen and yet, I chose this torturous and bittersweet path. Why? Because I just couldn’t shake it off. I tried to get away from this itch, but I just couldn’t so I gave in. Now that I am seven months away from being a doctor, as hard as each day of training could be, my heart knows that it is in the right place.
So much thought came from that meeting. I remembered how a clear why changes the way you see and do things. I just hope that more people are clear with their why, maybe then this world will be filled with passionate and aligned people.