I THINK I DID A GOOD THING TODAY

  1. This morning, a fellow intern and I had a quick conversation in passing.
  2. We are currently working in general medical wards and the working environment sucks. Many patients die, and the standard of care we can give with our severe resource limitations is low.
  3. We didn't have long to talk because I had a ward to get to and it was her clinic day; but I realised that we had similar things bothering us.
  4. So I invited her for a coffee after work. For some informal debriefing.
  5. I'm an introvert, and I had never spent time with her outside of work hours, so it was a little daunting.
  6. We went to a little pancake place by the ocean. We watched the waves and the sunset and we TALKED for nearly two hours.
  7. It was as beneficial to me as it was to her, so I don't have a saviour's complex or anything.
  8. The reason I feel good about it is because I finally feel like I have agency.
  9. For years, I have complained how women doctors don't support one another; how we don't emphasise wellness and don't provide a safe space for each other.
  10. This impromptu coffee date was me no longer waiting for someone else to start that.
  11. I realised that I too AM a woman doctor. And if I do nothing, I am implicit in not contributing to a sense of camaraderie and sisterhood.
  12. I realised - this should be obvious I guess - that we are more alike than we are different. All of us.
  13. And despite our differences, we suffer a lot of the same things.
  14. The same despair when patients die.
  15. The same frustration with the broken system.
  16. The same loss of confidence.
  17. And that was liberating. To know that even people who seem to have their lives together experience the same things.
  18. I just wish I had done more coffee dates over the past two years.
  19. It benefited us both. To blow off steam and support one another.
  20. I'm not a little girl anymore. I don't have to wait around for others to create the safe spaces I want to live in anymore.