The answer is : lots. The previous position was partly one of convenience. It was a relief to find employment that filled my most pressing requirement: to work with my kids' schedule. Simultaneously, it allowed me to practice some of the medicine I envisioned. Initially, it worked. I had been working in more acute care areas (emergency room, pediatric intensive care unit) and brushing up on general pediatrics was a welcome challenge. With time, however, it became clear that ideas presented for improvement were not considered. Projects were not encouraged. This was a small business and the bottom line was important. That is reality. So, I gave up on the ideals. I became complacent and lost the energy that made me a good doctor, mother, or wife.
I was better rested and organized than in my previous shift work position, but less happy. But who looks a gift horse in the mouth? I had no courage to stop, even though it was sapping all my energy. So, on July 1st one year ago, my former boss did me the biggest favor possible and let me go.
This last year has been one of the most important for personal and professional growth. Every action and decision is mindful. Personally, even though I have less time to spend with my girls, the time we spend together has much more quality to it (it is easier to be a nice parent when you are happy!). I no longer resent my husband for getting to do what he loves since I'm doing it now, too. Work is not work. It is a chance to improve our local community and I love it. The people around me constantly role model what medicine should be and I am honored to be in their ranks.
So, thank you, former boss, for making one of the best decisions of my life for me, since I had no courage to do it. It turned out to be the best birthday present ever. Happy birthday to me!