A Pledge to Stay Healthy

Writer
School of Medicine

I feel like I have been duped. I have always been told that finding balance between my work and my personal life was the key ingredient for staying healthy and happy. Then I graduate from college. Enter the real world. Get a real job.

Next thing I know, those same people touting balance are giving me 60-hour workweeks. Then comes medical school, where, every waking moment, I have to make the decision whether to study or relax.  Unfortunately, both come with some guilt. 

So then, how do I attain this elusive balance, when life tries so hard to keep it from me? Well, I have gotten pretty good at reading while in down dog, and sometimes I cook dinner while watching anatomy videos, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be single in no time if I keep that up.

What brought me closer to this balanced lifestyle was not time-saving tricks, but a gentle reminder that my well-being is important and that I do not need to feel guilty about that. My reminder comes in the form of a little apple-shaped pin I have on my UCSF ID badge, which I was given when I signed the UCSF Well-Being Pledge. 

The pledge is written for every UCSF employee and student, and acts as a promise you make to yourself to remain committed to improving your health, and the health of your patients and community. The pledge does not ask me to be anything I don’t want to be. It simply encourages me to be mindful of the ways I can lead a balanced, fulfilling life as a health care professional.

I encourage you to sign the pledge online at http://meded.ucsf.edu/wellbeing/ucsf-well-being-pledge and wear your apple pin proudly.