By Tricia Campbell
ST7 Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, North East Rotation
You have just got back from your elective in Tobago and are about to start your foundation training. It’s an exciting time, you have big dreams of being an orthopaedic surgeon and having a family. The path won’t always be smooth and there will be many hurdles to jump. You will jump over the hurdles but not always at the first attempt. You will work hard you will doubt yourself, you will celebrate big wins, it will be ok. Here are some things that will make your life smoother.
1. Set yourself some realistic goals
You have big dreams, to make them reality set yourself some goals. Take some time to think about what you want to achieve and why. Your why will keep you motivated. Plan out how you will reach these goals. Physically write these things down. Writing it down will push you to do it. It will serve as a reminder when times are hard.
Seize opportunities that come your way and be flexible with your method of achieving goals.
2. Give yourself compassion
The path you’ve chosen is hard, there will be knocks along the way. Failure and rejection are part of the journey. The important thing is how you deal with failure. Be open to feedback, reflect and ask for help. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but learn from them. When things seem tough take small steps, the small steps will take you closer to your goal. You will pick yourself back up and go again and when you can’t, your support network will pick you up. Be patient, your journey may seem longer than some of your peers but you have done some incredible things and gained invaluable experiences.
3. Build a support network
‘If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together’
Get out there and find your people. You can’t do this journey by yourself. You don’t find a community by accident, invest time and energy in building relationships. It is this community that will be by your side, provide help, mentorship and celebrate the wins with you.
You are writing this during your second maternity leave from orthopaedic training. Whilst you haven’t reached the end goal as yet, the journey so far has been pretty amazing and you wouldn’t change any of it. Keep going!