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Become a member and receive career-enhancing benefits

Our top priority is providing value to members. Your Member Services team is here to ensure you maximize your ACS member benefits, participate in College activities, and engage with your ACS colleagues. It's all here.

Become a Member
Become a member and receive career-enhancing benefits

Our top priority is providing value to members. Your Member Services team is here to ensure you maximize your ACS member benefits, participate in College activities, and engage with your ACS colleagues. It's all here.

Membership Benefits
ACS
Bulletin Brief

Well-Being

March 15, 2022

Find Joy in Your Work

When you can find joy in your work, you find purpose. With purpose and joy, your occupational well-being can flourish. The ability to find joy as a surgeon—professionally and personally—ebbs and flows throughout one’s career. You will have experiences that humble you, test your confidence and competence, make you feel like a failure, cause stress and frustration, and make you question why you choose the surgical profession. These experiences are part of the career path. Sometimes it can be difficult to find joy in work, but you will have other experiences that bring fulfillment to all facets of your life.

To recapture joy in surgery, consider these recommendations:

  • Focus on the patient, not on yourself. This focus helps you avoid endless rumination about how much you wish you could get a cup of coffee, get home on time, grab a bite to eat, or even fit in a quick pit stop.
  • Develop new skills. Be prepared to periodically reinvent yourself and to see these reinventions as opportunities to explore new terrain.
  • Value diversity. View individual differences in your colleagues and patients as sources of strength, rather than weakness.
  • Get involved. Seek leadership opportunities by becoming involved. Volunteer, participate, and reinvigorate yourself.
  • Take care of yourself. Make time for wellness. Make room in your life for the humanities and creativity. Take charge of your career and shape it to the form you wish it to assume. If you are in the latter half of your career, think about and prepare for retirement.*

Watch Lillian Erdhal, MD, FACS, discuss Prioritizing Self, Finding Joy, and Feeling Mentally and Physically Well.

Resources for Leadership

Four Steps Leaders Can Take to Increase Joy in Work—: How to Get Ready for “What Matters to You?” Conversations

*https://bulletin.facs.org/2020/02/olga-m-jonasson-md-lecture-recapturing-the-joy-of-surgery/

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