7 major life lessons I learned since becoming a DOCTOR


Since becoming a doctor I’ve met people
from all walks of life from birth, adulthood
to the dying. The insight gained has helped to put things in perspective in
my own life and allowed me to refocus on what really matters. In this video, I will
share seven lessons I’ve learned since becoming a doctor. Hi my name is Dr.
Erwin Kwun if you’re new to this channel I help high-performers create habits to
lead a happy and successful life. Don’t forget to hit the notification bell and
subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss any future videos. I still remember
the struggle in my F1 year as a doctor like it was yesterday.
The transition from medical student to F1 doctor is huge. Suddenly, I was
handed the responsibility of people’s life in my hands
despite five years of medical school all the induction and the support, I still
felt under prepared. My first post was medicine. It was a stressful job with
busy on-call duties there were times when I felt overwhelmed with the
intensity of the workload and out of death. It felt like medicine was not for
me and I didn’t enjoy it because I wasn’t sure what I was doing and I
doubted my capacity. What helped me going through F1 was sharing my difficulty
with other colleagues who are also F1 doctors and talking about the
difficulties we all experienced was quite liberating and was reassuring to
know that other people were having similar experiences and also felt nervous
and overwhelmed about the same things the feeling that we were all in the same
boat was reassuring and we helped each other by talking about the difficulties
and how we coped with things sometimes simply talking about a difficulty can be
extremely useful. Instead of suffering in silence the experience I had as an F1
was typical given the fact that I was put in a new environment
and had to work with a new team. Due to the nature of the job, there were days
when I felt I was being stretched thinly for example there was days when I had to
cross cover another Ward plus my own ward because there were no junior doctors
covering the duties on the other ward so there are days when you will feel
that you are being stretched and unfortunately that is a system we
work in this leads to my next point you need to put your oxygen mask on
first. As doctors we are good at caring for others but when it comes to caring for
ourself we are less good in medicine it is hammered in us to proceed with an ABC
approach whenever we manage a critically ill patient airway breathing and
circulation a quote that got stuck with me is put your oxygen mask on first
before helping someone else this is what you hear whenever you fly on a plane
So often, I see doctors trying to help others before helping themselves first.
I’ve often done it myself self care is something I previously neglected
because I was too busy saving life what I failed to realize is that if I don’t
attend to my own needs first how could I possibly be of help to anybody around me.
For instance I was a doctor covering all medical wards in the hospital I worked in
as an F1 doctor with two pages of jobs to do blood tests to take x-rays to chase
cannulas to do drug chart to rewrite patients to review and so on. I felt I
had to keep plowing on through my never-ending list and I did not take a
break in my 12 hour shift. I felt hungry lethargic and was also probably
dehydrated with a low blood sugar level. In hindsight this was not a wise choice
being aware how vital it is to take good care of myself I make sure that this
does not happen again. Nowadays I prioritise at least 15 minutes break during a
long shift this ensure that I keep myself well hydrated
and don’t drop my energy level such a low point that I’m exhausted.
In the long run it’s important to prioritize self-care otherwise this has
negative impact on our well-being. As a doctor I’m reminded how fragile life is
every day one of the things that I do as a doctor is to break bad news, telling
somebody that they have an incurable disease or that they have a miscarriage
or that they cannot drive anymore all things that’s very upsetting and it’s
always difficult to predict how the person will react and some persons are
more sensitive than others some persons are not brothered but others might be
upset and meltdown. I still remember this gentleman I saw, diagnosed him of a TIA
transient ischemic attack and I explained to him his diagnosis
what we’re going to do to manage him and implications on his fitness to drive. He
was taken aback and he was shocked by the diagnosis and it was difficult for
him to accept. I spent extra time to listen to him and answered his questions
before he left the consultation I made sure that he understood everything that
I said and that he understood he was not able to drive for safety reason. Three
weeks later I saw the gentleman again and he seem to be doing better. We had a chat
about how he was doing and how he was managing and he graciously thanked me
for being honest with him and taking the time to explain to him about diagnosis
and implication on his fitness to drive When we are healthy and young, we feel as if we
are invincible but life is very fragile and we are more vulnerable than what we
may think of. Let me share with you a story about a consultant colleague who
was about to retire you. He was well-liked by his peers and he was a very approachable
guy who was kind and very supportive of his juniors
one day I learned from a colleague that he was urgently I admitted to hospital
because of a heart problem. I later found out that he did not survive. It was a
tragic loss and given the fact that he was such a hardworking person and about
to retire and enjoy his retirement it was really heartbreaking to see what
happened. This event made me realize how precious life is and how fragile our
life is on this earth because we don’t know whether we will be here tomorrow. A
common regret among dying patients is I wish I had the courage to live a life
true to myself not the life of those expected of me having observed firsthand
people regretting that they wish to live a different life is heartbreaking
it took them a lifetime to realize that they wish to live a life on purpose. When
I was younger I would worry about what other people would think of me and I was
more about pleasing other people then I learned to worry less about what other
people thought of me now I realize other people don’t even care about my life as
they are too busy living their own life for instance it took me a lot of courage
to start this YouTube channel and talking in front of a camera.
I was worried what people would think of me. I’m so glad I did it anyway and most
people don’t even care about what I’m doing
most people will not even watch this video I knew I would have regretted it
had I not started this channel in the end what matters is a conversation you
have with your future self did I have the courage to live the life that I was
meant to live? Being friendly considerate and generous
is an important quality although kindness is perceived as a combination
of nervous and weakness to many people that is not the case being kind often
requires courage and strength as a doctor being kind to patients and
colleague convey a sense of care and sympathy that goes a long way people
notice when we show kindness because it makes a positive difference in their
life kindness also includes being kind to
yourself when it comes to ourself we are much harder on ourselves. We rarely think
about showing yourself kindness when we beat ourselves up because unnecessary
suffering to ourself. Self-criticism only sabotages us and worsens a situation to
calm my inner critic and replace it the same kindness warmth and understanding
that I treat others who are suffering. I choose the language that makes my
self-talk carefully. Flip the narrative from poor me I’m not good enough to
suffering is part of life may I be kind to myself in this moment
self-kindness gives us support when we most need it. Relationship is vital for
everyone the relationships we foster is crucial for happiness health and
well-being research shows the value of having a strong support network as the
most reliable predictor of our well-being. I have observed the effects
of loneliness in my patients time and time again. Many had become so caught up
in their own lives they had let golden friendships slip by over the years
having deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that
they deserve is common as we grow older loneliness is also a big problem among
young people having had to move to new city many times for work I have
struggled sometimes to make new friends and stay in touch with old friends
however withsome organization and planning have I’ve been able to try and meet
at least twice a year with who live far apart the benefits of
Technology make it so easy to communicate with friends and family
nowadays reaching out with someone you miss or have not caught up with is a
great way to stay in touch I’ve learned not to take myself too
seriously have a laugh and cultivate a sense of
humor. It’s important to have a creative outlet besides working all the time or
constantly chasing a goal. What I like to do is to take a step back and remind
myself there’s so much to life than pursuing success. If I cannot be happy
with what I already have then having more things will not make me happier
I believe injecting fun and excitement in life are important to flourish
celebrate your success and enjoy way to where you want to be let me know in the
comment section which one is your favorite lesson if you have any
questions or any suggestion for any future videos please write it down in
the comment section if you have not already subscribed to my channel please
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future videos

6 thoughts on “7 major life lessons I learned since becoming a DOCTOR

  1. I would love to know if any of the life lesson resonates with you. Share your thought in the comment below.

  2. Being a junior doctor is very tough but equally rewarding. I've had similar experiences to the ones you've shared and have found it extremely useful to be able to talk about them with my friends.

  3. Good video Erwin. Thank you for sharing. I am sure that many people will be able to relate. We all have ups and downs, be it, either in our professional or personal life.

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