With 2022 now upon us, that means planning for the year ahead. Whether you made a resolution, set an intention, or are just trying to get through your to-do list this week, we all have objectives and goals.
Below, you’ll find what members of The Lab — our new advisory board of early-career healthcare professionals — hope to accomplish over the next 12 months.
Do you have any big plans for 2022? Let us know in the comments.
Medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
My New Year’s resolution is to trim the fat on my newsletters. These digital digests have taken off in recent years, with readers recognizing the convenience of curated content appearing in your inbox every morning or week. And boy, have I been a sucker for them. Just pop in my email and I’ll be up to date on crypto? Great! One more click and I can be in-the-know of the NYC restaurant scene? Why not! And now my inbox is drowning in newsletters that I swear I’ll read when my schedule lightens up. No more! In 2022, I’m going to trim the fat and only subscribe to a few that I can handle — with MedPage top of the list, of course. Master of Some.
Nurse practitioner who graduated from Yale School of Nursing in 2019
As a nurse practitioner fairly new in my career and new to the field of palliative medicine, I take up a lot of headspace making sure I am doing the right thing — “How would I explain this to my attending if they asked why I was doing it?” or “How can I phrase this question to the neurologist without sounding completely ignorant?” I often view my coworkers not as peers working toward a common goal, but as authority figures with whom I have no business getting to know on a personal level let alone participate in thoughtful debate with. Now, I know this is simply not true, but I think most new healthcare professionals can relate to this feeling. In fact, it has a name: imposter syndrome.
My New Year’s resolution is to make a better effort to chat with and get to know my interdisciplinary colleagues, especially when we are working on particularly sad or challenging cases. My goal is to be a stronger team member for my patients by building trust with my colleagues and asking questions that can ultimately help improve a patient’s quality of life.
Resident physician at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and an incoming physical medicine and rehabilitation resident at the University of Missouri School of Medicine.
My New Year’s resolution is to be present. Time flies and obligations always arise but being present means being grateful. In healthcare, there is a tendency to always look forward to the next patient, meeting, lecture, discovery, etc. However, I want to practice gratitude through being present. All of us in healthcare are extremely blessed to have chosen and, equally as important, have been chosen for this field. Presence reminds me that it is the utmost honor to be a physician and provide care to those who need it the most. Presence develops mindfulness, which increases wellness, compassion, and fulfillment. Presence will allow me to grow as an individual and reach my potential to leave this world in a better state than when I was first brought into it. Presence = gratitude and may I never forget that.
Third-year medical student at Boston University School of Medicine
During the third year of medical school, it is expected that we students figure out what we’re going to be when we grow up. Part of this journey should ideally include finding a mentor in our fields of choice, who will sponsor us as we apply (and hopefully match into) residency. My resolution for 2022 is to find a mentor who is more than a sponsor — someone who will help me actively push myself to broaden my horizons, display my skills confidently, and strengthen my commitment to my future field.
Registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at Beth Israel in Boston
While taking the time to reflect on 2021, I’ve realized there has been a whole lot to be grateful for. COVID vaccines, gathering outdoors together, and seeing family are just a few of the things that immediately come to mind. That being said, 2021 also came with a lot of uncertainty. Being a nurse and nurse practitioner student throughout this ongoing pandemic has continued to bring about both emotional and physical fatigue. The subconscious worry of coming in contact with an infected patient always hangs overhead, and the flashbacks to the height of the pandemic are easy to conjure up. In the new year, I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to debrief with myself every single day, both the good and the bad. Sure, exercising five times a week seems like a good resolution, but I think long-term journaling will have a greater impact on my overall well-being. I’m looking forward to a mentally healthier 2022, and hope those reading are too!
PharmD candidate at VCU School of Pharmacy
I plan to go into 2022 with a renewed passion to uphold the oath of a pharmacist. I will continue advocating for the profession and my future patients, challenging the stereotypes that exacerbate moral distress and mental illness disproportionately experienced by healthcare workers, and laugh and learn a little in the face of adversity. Something this pandemic has proven time and time again is that life doesn’t get any easier. Each year will come with its own unique flavor of hardship and difficulty. Many unexpected and completely out of your control. The only thing guaranteed is that you will be faced with a decision. A choice on how to best overcome these challenges. For yourself, for your workplace, and most of all, for your patients. Inaction is no longer an option. In 2022, I plan to speak up and face these issues head-on. I choose to support those of us still on a mission to uphold our oaths to our patients and our professions.