Posts Tagged ‘Family’


May 13th, graduation day, seems like a generation ago. I am now a resident physician in Pediatrics at Seattle Children’s Hospital.   I am 4 months in and the big question, of course, is “What is residency like?”
Residency is like a whirlwind- a lot of activity, direction not always clear.

Residency is like an intense championship game- you are surprised by what you and you team can do under pressure

Residency is like a great cup of coffee- when you can sit down and actually appreciate it, there is a lot to savor

Residency is like a power cord- sometimes your best efforts still fall short

Residency is like a great meal with a good friend- you walk away feeling more complete, more alive

Residency is like a murder mystery- never seen this before

Residency is like an assembly line- seen this too many times

Residency is like dawn- new possibilities abound each day

Over the next 3 years, I will tell the story of residency, right here, in weekly posts.

Of course, I am not on this journey alone; I have an extraordinary group of co-residents at work and my home team, the family. I will let these pictures tell the rest of the story:

Camz taking a nap with Snow and Storm, our first pets!


Camz, set for football practice


Christian and friends, first Homecoming at Shorecrest High School


Anne, taking it all in at Richmond Beach, Seattle


Celebrating Anne’s graduation from her Architecture program


Day off at Richmond Beach


The Dream Team, my co-residents


Downtown Seattle and Mt. Rainer , from Kerry Park

Donning the long white coat for the first time

Flashback to graduation


With Anne at BMA senior banquet


With “Mom-Kenya” and “Mom-USA”

It’s that time of year again, the time when we take a moment to reflect on the past year and look forward to self-improvement in the next year. The usual suspects are trotted out: nutrition, exercise, spirituality, finances and family with ambitious goals articulated for each. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the success rate for this bold list is less than ideal. But the alternative, an unexamined stroll into the next year is just as unpalatable. So, perhaps a shift in approach is needed . . .

What if we pick ONE substantial target? Sounds reasonable. But how do we make that choice when there are many things we would like to change? I’d like to share a process I went through recently and propose that it may provide a model for you to frame that choice.

My family and I had an extraordinary experience during a family visit this Christmas. One of my favorite cousins visited us for Christmas with her husband and three children and the usual pleasant visit became much more. Toward the end of the visit, we gathered together and asked the kids to share school tips with each other (my two boys, aged 7 and 13 and her 3 kids, two boys aged 12,15, and a 19 year old woman). So the college student (my niece) shared her insights with the  high schooler who then shared his tips with the middle schooler (my older son) who then shared with the elementary children (my nephew and other son). These tips provoked some questions from us, the adults, which led to much more personal revelations about their individual challenges with school. I was blown away by how much more complicated their school lives are because of social media, cyberbullying, fitting in, skewed perceptions of female beauty and more. I learned more about my nieces and nephews in that one session than in all previous visits combined. No therapy could have yielded the rich insights and sharing facilitated by having cousins who looked and sounded like each other share their struggles and victories. It was the kind of moment that was both frustrating and beautiful. Frustrating because these moments are so hard to consciously reproduce but beautiful because you KNOW they are transformative when they happen. I saw the power of relationships firsthand and knew what my focus would be in 2016: building richer relationships.

A few days later, I watched a TED talk focusing on the most comprehensive study on happiness in history. Several men were followed for as long as 75 years and the data revealed that the single strongest predictor of health and longevity was satisfaction with personal relationships. And so building stronger relationships has become the entirety of my “list.” Perhaps, resolutions should not be a list of “ought to’s” but a single “have to”. There should be both an urgency and timeliness to what we pick . . . I think that leads both to a greater chance of success and meaningfulness to the accomplishment. And so, as we all enter 2016, I will leave you with that question, what is your “thing”? May you reach it.

Happy New Year!