Nature and Nurture

Sunday, February 20, 2022

My apartment fire escape overlooks a corner portion of the UCSF Parnassus campus.

The cluster of hospital buildings stands at a distance, a bit blurry but with a definite silhouette, a semblance to my eventual career. My residency path may yet be unclear, but I will be a doctor one way or another. Closer still, the warm string lights loop around the balcony handrails and nearby plants adorn every inch of apartment windowsill. I live with classmates turned housemates turned family, and we’ve made our place a vibrant home.

Looking out on this view, I consider that the question of work vs life, like the issue of nature vs nurture, is a false dichotomy – the two are impossible to disentangle.

At the end of a long day of learning, re-learning, and doing, I have to flop on the couch and vegetate for a bit. After twelve hours between hospital walls, I need the nourishments of fresh air, flora and fauna, evening workouts, home-cooked meals, and quality time with loved ones.

When I am an attending, I will find the blend between work and life as the foreground and background of my life. Right now, as a student, I am sketching the early outline of that future picture.