professional burnout; physicians; health personnel; graduate medical education; medicine in the arts; poetry; psychological stress


Medical Humanities


As healthcare workers, invested in the wellbeing of our patients while also hoping to grow as individuals, we sometimes tend to view our jobs as a rigid duality—we are either “in love” with our practice and persevere flawlessly through all hardship, or we are “burnt out,” coldhearted, and defeated by the heavy workload and expectations of medicine.

In reality, we all sit somewhere in the middle of a blurry spectrum, balancing out physical, mental, and emotional pain with the immense honor of saving and cherishing human life, while simultaneously struggling to reconcile our altruistic goals with realistic but necessary human incentives.

I want this open-ended work to acknowledge these challenging but critical “and yet” moments, and I hope anyone who is reading it can connect to the words personally and find new insight, regardless of where they are in life.