The Duality of Weariness & Hope

Y’all.

Life has become exhausting as of late.

I’m tired of the endless murdering of innocent Black Americans by the people who are supposed to be sworn to protect us. I’m tired of the constant cycle of death, peaceful protests, injustice in the judicial system, public outrage, riots, shifting of media attention, and complacency that we have gone through over and over and over again in this country. I’m tired of feeling like Black lives don’t matter as much as other lives in the eyes of a frightening number of White Americans. I’m tired of the ignorance and racist rhetoric that is continuously spewed from the mouths of various people in the media. I’m tired of the systemic racism, oppression and disenfranchisement against minorities that is deeply interwoven into the fabric of American society. I’m tired of the fickleness of American society. I’m tired of feeling angry, frustrated and concerned while at the same time having to go about my everyday life with a smile on my face as if the world isn’t falling apart around me.

I’m tired of the COVID-19 pandemic and of all the major adjustments that we have all had to make in our lives to slow down the spread of the virus. I’m tired of the disastrous “leadership” of the Trump administration, of all of his catastrophic antics and of all of the stressful consequences that come as a result of his words and actions. I’m tired of waking up each morning not knowing what kind of tragic news the day is going to bring, yet anticipating that there will be bad news about the country and/or the world that I’ll learn about at some point during the day. I’m tired of the instability of our current livelihoods and of not knowing what the future holds. 

I’m just tired man.

This year just continues to be an unbelievable and unpredictable one that future generations will look back on with astonishment and horror. A lot of devastating events and crazy circumstances have occurred in the world throughout my relatively short lifespan, but these situations that we’re currently in has got to be some of the toughest that I’ve lived through so far. That being said, I still have hope for our future. Witnessing the resilience of many Americans and other citizens of the world in this pandemic has been incredible. Listening to the hopeful words of positive leaders in society such as the Obamas help to heal and energize my spirit. Healing my patients and interacting with their gracious families helps with providing purpose to my everyday life, along with keeping up with my loved ones and continuing to assist others via this blog and other avenues. I’ve really had to focus on counting my blessings lately in order to keep myself from sliding into a deep abyss of pessimism, despair, and hopelessness. If I’ve been feeling this way as of late, I can’t even imagine what others who have been less fortunate than me in the world must be feeling right now.

In the midst of all of this, I’ll be finishing up my intern year very soon and will be transitioning into my second-year of residency at the end of June. Just like any major transition, it’s pretty exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. My program hosted a leadership conference last week that is typically held annually for rising PGY-2s (post-graduate year), and it was real helpful with laying out expectations and providing clarity for what the next year will look like for us. It focused on how to be an effective leader on the healthcare team as an upper-level resident, how to communicate effectively as a leader and how to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves and others on the team. We also even had a useful Q&A session with various sub-specialists, hospitalists and primary care pediatricians during the conference. It was very well put together, especially considering the fact that this was the very first time that the conference was held virtually. Oh and I FINALLY got a white coat with my name engraved on it! 🙌🏿

It had me thinking about what kind of leader I wanted to be for my future interns. I definitely want to take some of the amazing traits and habits that several of my senior residents this year exhibited and apply them to my own leadership style. I want to be a dynamic leader who is in tune with each member of my team, from the ancillary staff, families of patients and medical students to the nurses, consultants and attending physicians. I want to serve as a positive example of a leader for those around me, and I want the people I work with and the patients I serve to be able to believe in me. I want to be organized, resourceful, knowledgeable, efficient, fun, innovative and adaptable. Simply put, I want to be an excellent physician-leader! 👨🏿‍⚕️

I think I’ll go ahead and end this post on that inspiring note. Please try to continue staying safe, sane, and healthy through these troubling times!

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” — Elie Wiesel

– Black Man, M.D.

P.S. – Rest In Peace to George Floyd, another innocent Black American murdered in cold blood before our very eyes. May his killer be brought to justice. And for all of you out there who would like to learn more about being Black in America and sincerely want to be a better ally for Black Americans, here is a link to a page of some incredibly useful resources meant to combat racism. Please visit the page and use it as a reference to deepen your knowledge about race relations in America so that you can be an even more effective ally in this ongoing struggle. Anti-Racism Resources For White People

P.P.S. – I just had to share these two incredible articles, both written from the perspectives of medical doctors. The first one is authored by Dr. Keisha Gibson, Vice Chair of Diversity and Inclusion at the UNC SOM and Chief of Pediatric Nephrology at UNC Children’s Hospital. The second one is authored by both Dr. Patrice A. Harris and Dr. Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, President and Board Chair of the American Medical Association, respectively. Check them out using the links below.

How Do We Cope: A Message From Dr. Keisha Gibson

Police Brutality Must Stop – Dr. Patrice A. Harris & Dr. Jesse M. Ehrenfeld

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