Let's have a real moment and talk about work-life balance. Although it may seem like in medical school and residency you have no life, this is not entirely true.
I was talking with one of my attendings today who made a comment about how she wished she would have spent more time taking care of herself during residency. This is something I hear A LOT from attendings and physicians already in practice. The rate of burnout is high amoung physicians, as well as the rates of alcoholism, drug abuse, and even suicide. We are told we have to do everything for our patients and just grit and bear it for anywhere from 3-8 years of training. Then we finish training and may still be unhappy with our hours or the business side of medicine.
There is a new wave amoung our generation. We are talking more about resiliency and wellness for residents. This is so important because if we do not take care of ourselves, how can we properly take care of our patients? When I eat right and have time to exercise, I can think and concentrate better at work. No, we may never get rid of 24hr call or night shifts or even the dreaded working 21 days straight, but we can improve awareness. We can take moments throughout the day to breathe and make sure we are recognizing our stress. We also need to make sure we prioritize what we like to do. There are many post call days where all I want to do is sleep, and sometimes that is okay. But I make sure to schedule a date night with my husband once a week. I still take vacation with my family even if it is only for 8 days and I am post call before a 15 hr flight or on call the day I get back. I still make plans to see friends and attend weddings. Yes, sometimes it won't work out, but if you don't prioritize your hobbies and loved ones, they won't happen. Make sure you take time for yourself and what you like to do. Your patients' care will also improve as a result, trust me.