The Value of a Pause

Pitter patter, in and out, pitter patter, in and out.

What is medicine, but a never-ending race, a constant rush—a marathon.

Speed up they say.

You want to win the competition.
You have places to be.
You have so many patients to see.

Slow down they say.

You need to pace yourself.
You have to get to know the patient.
You want to spend quality time and make sure you make the right diagnoses.

Pitter patter, in and out, pitter patter, in and out.

To win the race you see the most patients.
To win the race you cross the finish line.
To win the race, you MUST run.

In and out, pitter patter, in and out.

This pace that we keep, trying to fight the constraints of time and be swift lasts only for so long.
This drive to go go go and race against the clock is a losing game.
It’s an illusion that you are winning and a convincing one at that.
It’s a game we all like to play, all forced to take part in until that defining day comes.

That one day…when you get hurt.
That one day…when you missed the signs of abuse and fear in the eyes of the girl sitting next to her father.
That one day…when you forget to check the heart rate monitor clearly signaling a fetus in distress.
That one day…when you miss a father’s cry for help who just doesn’t want to live any longer.
That stormy day, when you rush and run without a care in the world

And you hurt a patient, a friend…a loved one.
You hurt yourself.

As physicians, we run in and out of our personal encounters with patients, racing against the clock with only 15 minutes to spare.

However, we have a duty to slow down.
In fact, we should and must slow down.

Pitter patter- no more.
In and out- no more.

Slow down and open your eyes more fully.

Recognize the value of a pause and how not only patient care, but also self-care, is encompassed in slowing down.

As the well known inspiring hymn goes,

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.
I was blind, but now I see.

 

 

Irina Geiculescu

Ethnically, 100% Romanian, and nationally, 100% American, I was born in Seneca, South Carolina and have lived in the Clemson/Easley area my whole life. I graduated with a B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering, Materials Emphasis, from Clemson University. Athlete, scholar and former competitive pianist, I try to maintain a balanced mind, body and soul. I am ecstatic and blessed to be attending USCSOMG and to be part of the wonderful Class of 2020, beginning the journey that propelled me into medicine: pursuing the principle of people first.

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