Resilience has somehow come to equate physician health and wellness; exponentially so since March of 2020. We are proffered myriad opportunities to improve our resiliency (though not accordingly the time and space to create wellness). Oxford dictionary defines resilience as the capacity to withstand or recover from difficulties; toughness, whereas wellness is defined as the state of being in good health.
Aside from being the “R” word in my healthcare profanity collection, resiliency has come to mean a few things to me. First, it means we are not in a current state of wellness. Second, it suggests we are stagnant within the present difficulty – not simply rolling with the punches—but asked … expected … to take more and more of them, often without any change in circumstance. Third, it implies that we are individually accountable to the outcome and fail far more than just ourselves when we cannot be resilient. As one of my dear colleagues would say, “we are mired in the muck.”
The fact is we are not served by the current perceptions and expectations of resilience. This is because we do so much more than take punches. We listen, we question, we speak up, we work together, we find ways, and we improve together—over and over and over. We evolve, we metamorphose, we transmogrify, we transform. And it is through transformation that we will find wellness – wellness for our patients, our communities, our colleagues, and ourselves.
Because we are so much more than resilient.
This year, as President of BC Family Doctors, I’ve borne awed witness to the transformation we helped create – from individuals through collective. The changes of this year are hard won, and they inch us closer to creating care environments that support our needs as healthcare providers and as human beings, as well as those of the patients we serve. I know, however, that there is still so much more to be done.
To that end, I challenge you to continue to stand up and speak up for the transformation that we need. Further, help us help you. Encourage your colleagues to join BC Family Doctors so that we can continue to listen, to question, and to do this essential work.
I know we’re not there yet. However, I do know that BC Family Doctors, with you, and with our partners and province-wide advocates can, and will, create a better tomorrow for us all.
There is much work to be done, and we will do it together.