Editor's Forum, Wellness

Celebrating New Beginnings

Hello EMRA Family,

I am in awe that this time last year was the first time I wrote for EM Resident as your new Editor-in-Chief. I cannot believe a year has flown by since I have been elected to the EMRA Board of Directors and have been with EM Resident. I am so thankful for all the wonderful articles we have published together as a team. I am grateful to all the authors who contribute to EM Resident, and to the Editorial Team who work tirelessly to bring you all the best content. (Please take note of the names on p. 2; these physicians work behind the scenes to help our authors succeed and readers excel.)

Beginning my second year on the Board also means a new election took place for the outgoing Board members. EMRA Board of Directors positions alternate between even-year and odd-year elections (except for the president-elect position, which is elected every year) to help maintain some institutional memory as new residents become elected. Thus, we are excited to introduce our new Board members to #EMRAFamily! Remember — YOU, as our Representative Council, have helped propel these candidates to the position of a Board member so they can work for YOU. Please take a moment to read their profiles in this edition of EM Resident as they work with the rest of the Board to represent residents, medical students, and alumni on a national scale.

As I look onto our recently elected Board members, I can’t help but reflect on change. "We all face changes every day — whether it is a simple change in the weather, our schedule, or expected change of seasons. Change affects us all, and we each deal with change differently. Thus, the only constant in life, the only thing we can be sure will happen is change." This quote is ever more relevant today as we are again at the brink of another COVID-19 surge, and our hospitals and residencies are reacting. We are encountering a change in staffing, how we perceive population health, how we dress for our patients and interact and greet people. And, of course, change in how newly graduating senior residents are entering the job market.

However, with every change, we also have an opportunity for a new beginning. Even though I am a current practicing Christian, I grew up celebrating Diwali, a religious holiday widely practiced around the world by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains. I grew up in India until the age of 12, which is also the last year I practiced the holiday. Looking back at my childhood, Diwali was a time that brought a lot of joy and comfort in my life. There were glimpses of delicious food, laughing with cousins, and memories of bright clothes and colorful fireworks. Since my move to America, much of these memories have faded as I struggle to hold onto them.

This year, I felt like it was vital for me to understand who I am and explore my childhood culture with increased resolution. I understood the symbolic nature behind the oil-light candles. I understood the meaning behind each of the 5 days that surround Diwali and the importance each day held. However, the one that felt the most serendipitous was that Diwali was a celebration of both light’s victory over darkness and a celebration of new beginnings. I spent 2 of the 5 days with my brothers and a few select friends reflecting on what change meant for them — reflecting on the benefits and downsides of change. Celebrating new beginnings rather than allowing change to become a paralyzing fear.

I know we are all entering another change. For some, it's with relationships, moving for work or fellowships, or how we experience the stress of work as our patients continue to roll in, sicker by the day in this pandemic. I implore us all to take a day or two to reflect with our loved ones on the benefits of change. Celebrate, if you can, new beginnings. Lean into the change and new beginnings, and make your own days of Diwali to celebrate them both.

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