More than a Family Medicine resident: A program that promotes balance

Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2017

View the November 2017 issue of PULSE

By: Jill Smith, PGY2

“I’m Jill, a Family Medicine resident.”

That was my answer to a recently asked “Tell me about yourself” inquiry, which, may I add, is possibly the most dreaded question one can be asked. In this case, my answer really made me stop and think. Is this the one thing I feel ultimately defines me? In medicine, it is easy to throw yourself into your work, and neglect other aspects of your life in the process - especially as a resident. There is a lot to learn in two short years and we are surrounded by like-minded people the whole time.

Don’t get me wrong; I love Family Medicine, which is probably why it is so easy to spend the majority of my time doing something that relates to it. But what if I spent a little more time on my answer to the “tell me about yourself” question.  I could answer, “I’m Jill, cooking enthusiast, funky sock lover, sports team member, fan of anything to do with the outdoors, and a Family Medicine resident.”  

As this thought was going through my mind, I realized how lucky I am to be in uOttawa’s Family Medicine program, as it has allowed and encouraged me to explore my interests outside of medicine.  I get to attend resident run open mic nights, play on a weekly intramural sports team, and go on fun monthly outings with the staff and residents of the Riverside Family Health Team. The program also has an amazing resiliency website along with a resident retreat (see some photos from our retreat last September!), where we get to spend time together and relax.

Maybe it’s not so hard to keep a good work-life balance, especially when you are in a program that supports you in both your career and extracurricular interests. Personally, I believe that maintaining this balance will enable me to sustain my passion and love for Family Medicine throughout my career, and ultimately make me a better and more resilient family doctor for my future patients.

Dr. Jill Smith on the California coast

Dr. Jill Smith on the California coast

Dr. Jill Smith in Deep River, ON

In Deep River, ON


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