- Posted January 15, 2014 by
Arkadiusz Jaroni on Life Outside the Hospital
Arkadiusz Jaroni is a firm believer that to be successful long-term in the medical field, physicians must have a life outside the hospital. Arkadiusz Jaroni poses the question to all physicians, “Medicine is our vocation but what is our avocation?”
It’s true that everyone needs time off to allow the body and the mind to relax and recuperate but, Arkadiusz Jaroni explains, doctors often forget this simple piece of advice. “Over the course of their education – which can take anywhere from ten to fifteen years – medical students become accustomed to spending all their time focusing on medicine. Classes and studying can occupy sixteen hours a day six or seven days a week. Internships and residencies can require the student to be at the hospital for days on end sometimes but this is what’s necessary to become a competent physician. Their life outside the hospital gets put on hold in order to complete their education. The problem is, when they graduate and begin practicing medicine, the habit of spending long hours at work carries over.
These long hours at work eventually take their toll. Arkadiusz Jaroni continues, “Newly graduated physicians – and some who have been in the field for years – forget that balance is needed in a person’s life in order to be truly happy and healthy. Doctor’s give that advice to patients on an almost daily basis but they forget to apply it to themselves.”
Physicians see the result of imbalance in others but often fail to see it in themselves. Arkadiusz Jaroni offers this advice, “If a patient came to you feeling ill and you discovered that he had been working sixteen hours a day six days a week for the past few years, what advice would you give him? You likely tell him to take some time off or reduce his workload if at all possible. That patient could easily be you [speaking to physicians].”
What is necessary to remedy this situation? Again, Arkadiusz Jaroni’s opening question is appropriate: “Medicine is [a doctor’s] vocation but what is [his] avocation?”
Arkadiusz Jaroni elaborates, “It’s important to have something in your life other than medicine. So whether it’s your family or learning a new skill or pursuing a hobby, all physicians need a life outside of medicine.”
When asked what he does to unwind and decompress, Arkadiusz Jaroni responds, “My education took me from Alberta to Nova Scotia to Ontario then back to Alberta. Seeing diverse parts of the country fostered in me a love for travel that exists to this day. I use that passion to help me recuperate and recharge.”
But travel is not something Arkadiusz Jaroni can do on a daily basis. For a more localized remedy Arkadiusz Jaroni turns to, “Family! I like being there and helping out as much as possible. It's something I can do when I find a spare moment and it helps me get my mind off the problems and stresses of work.
When asked to give some advice to current medical students, Arkadiusz Jaroni offers the following, “Before we went to medical school, we all had things we enjoyed doing. Don’t let those things go. Even though you may not have the time while in school, when you graduate, make those things a priority. Do something fun as a way to put work behind you for a few hours. You’ll be better off in the long term and be a better doctor in the short term.”