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February Love

Dear Patients,

February is here and love is in the air.

Time to shift our thoughts from holiday planning and Christmas shopping to Valentine’s Day planning and gift ideas. If you are fresh out of ideas what to get your Love, we do offer a variety of spa services you can choose from, or buy a gift card and let your loved one decide what they want.

Speaking of spa services, I want you to welcome the newest addition to our work family, Rebekah. She will be helping out both at our receptionist desk checking you in as well as providing spa services as an esthetician. We are very happy to have her join our team and hope you will get to meet her soon.

Speaking of love, I want to share my thoughts on compassion. I was at a doctor’s meeting last week and one slide caught my attention. To sum it up, doctors are good at showing compassion to their patients, but not to themselves. As we face record numbers of physician burnout, I pondered on this. If we show as much compassion we have to others to ourselves, would that help? Studies have found that the answer is YES. Long hours and administrative burdens should not deter us from having dinner with family, or being able to make it to your kids’ games or recitals. Being on call for patients every night and weekends should not pull you away from having some personal time to de-stress, workout, and hang out with friends. Family vacations should be fun with family, not taking your family to attend a required CME course where you are sitting in a cold hotel conference room while the rest of your family are enjoying pool time and having fun. I thought how hypocritical of us doctors to preach to our patients about showing compassion to yourselves while we are one of the worst offenders of self-compassion? So let’s make a commitment to show more compassion to ourselves as much as we show compassion to others. This message is especially important to those out there that sacrifice their time and health as part of their job. We will start with changing our mindset and our behavior to improve our practice of self-compassion. We will be more forgiving of ourselves, accept that we are imperfect and allow ourselves to make mistakes. We will not self-criticise or feel inadequate, but start cultivating a healthy habit of being more balanced with work and personal time, and show more empathy and acts of kindness to ourselves. When our practice of self-compassion grows, your level of anxiety and stress will start to go down, your mind and body will become stronger, and we will be in a better position to help others that need us.

My example of committing myself to self-compassion is that I now take Wednesdays off to do my administrative duties vs. doing it late every night. I have taken up hot yoga for workouts and meditations. I have stopped doing the combo family/work vacations and now go on real family vacations. Who is going to make me do all of these unless I allow self-compassion in my mind? I challenge you to make self-compassion part of your lives and please share with me next time what that looks like for you.

Have a great Valentine’s Day month and let’s show the people we love how much we love them. But this year, can you show yourself some love?

Love you guys to the moon,

Dr. Suh