How Brian Davis, MD Supports Wellness

Submitted by Brian Davis, MD, Sports Medicine Fellowship Co-Director and Professor at UC Davis

These are my 3 pillars for growing old gracefully.

  • We need endurance to do our daily activities and fun things with family and friends. This means that endurance activities during exercise are important in maintaining our stamina.
  • We need lean muscle and strength to maintain balance, prevent falls and protect our bones if we do fall. High weight, low repetition exercise may offer muscle bulk at the risk of injury. As we grow older, lean muscle is preferable over muscle bulk.
  • We have to keep our heart beating. Any aerobic fitness plan is likely helpful in reducing all causes of morbidity and mortality. Think 30 minutes a day, most days of the weeks.

How Gayle Spill, MD Supports Wellness

Submitted by Gayle Spill, MD, Assistant Professor at Northwestern University and Attending Physician at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Words of Wisdom from one of my mother’s dear friends: In this life, there are so many things you have to do even if you don’t want to. If you are faced with something you don’t want to do that you don’t have to do, don’t do it! For me, there are 3 aspects to this advice.

  • Time is your most precious commodity. Make sure you spend it doing things that are meaningful and important to you.
  • Learn how to say “no” to your boss, your spouse/partner, your children and your friends. It is often difficult, especially for women, to say no. It is an important skill and one that needs to be practiced and encouraged.
  • The correlate to the above advice is, if there is something you want to do, do it! In other words, make time for self-care, make time to care for your relationships outside of work and don’t feel guilty about it. It will make you more productive at work and home - a better doctor, a better partner and a better parent.

How Dave Welch, MD Supports Wellness

Submitted by Dave Welch, MD, Retired Physiatrist in Lake Placid, NY

Words of Advice: You are not as important as you may think you are.

During the first year of practice after my residency, I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed. I was a solo physiatrist in a community that never had one before. I was married and we had three children under age 5. We had purchased a home, and, while I didn't have school debt, we were certainly in significant debt at the time.

My day was particularly busy. I had four or five people waiting in the waiting room, a large pile of paperwork stacked on my desk, a couple of in-patient consultation requests waiting and just felt overworked. For a reason I have never understood, after dictating the note on a patient who just left and before calling the next patient in, I stopped and paused for about 5 minutes. I pondered what would happen if I dropped dead at that moment. As I considered that possibility, I realized that the patients in the waiting room would be told I would not be able to see them and they would be assisted in setting up visits with other providers. The paperwork would either be done by a member of the staff or would be returned to the source with the explanation that I would not be able to respond and someone else would have to do it. I realized that my wife was a smart person with skills that would allow her to get a job and we had purposely purchased life insurance that would cover full costs for the family for at least two years. This would allow her to find a job. She was also an attractive woman who could probably find another husband. The kids would grow up without me but my wife would make sure that they had a home and what they needed to succeed.

 

In essence, I came to the realization that no matter how important that I thought I was, I could disappear and the world would continue to go on without me.

From that moment on, I realized that nothing I did was so important that someone else couldn't do it. That reality allowed me to be able to walk out of the office each night and not worry that I hadn't completed everything on the table. It allowed me to spend time with patients who needed it even if that meant inconveniencing the next one. I would simply apologize and explain that there had been a complicated issue that needed to be addressed.

This reality that I was just not that important made my life much easier over the next 40 years.