APR 2021 |

In this issue:
  • Finding Meaning in Medicine
  • Houston Happenings
  • Medical Specialty Online Resources
  • MS4 Advice
  • Occupational Wellness
  • SPOTlight
  • TAO
  • Tasty Recipes
  • Thrive at UT
The Well is a monthly newsletter that serves to
positively impact the well-being of the McGovern student community
by highlighting a myriad of wellness-related content.
Click here to share your thoughts on The Well!
Occupational Wellness
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” - Jane Goodall

Most of us would say we chose medicine to impact people. We had idealistic visions of changing lives and maybe even changing medicine. However, somewhere along the way, as we see by the physician burnout rate, we can become disillusioned, a bit cynical, and “over it”. While we want to make a difference, it’s clear that going to med school does not guarantee a meaningful or lifegiving career. So if contentment isn’t innate in the job we’ve chosen, then what does it mean to have occupational wellness? It begins with recognizing your priorities and defining what it means for you to have a meaningful and joyful career. If we aren’t intentional about finding interest and meaning in our work, it won’t come automatically. For more information on our inspiration for this month’s theme, check out this Wellness Wheel from the University of New Hampshire.
Medical Specialty Online Resources
AAMC Careers in Medicine is a great resource for exploring different specialties! Complete quizzes to help guide your search. Click here to explore the website. 

Helpful hints when navigating:
  • Compare specialties: this is a great resource if you are undecided between a few specialties
  • Explore options > medical specialties > specialty profiles allows you to browse through all the available specialties
  • Tools > assessment dashboard allows you to take quizzes to help you narrow your search
  • Just explore the website because it is a great way to learn about step scores, resources, etc. 

Here is an article about the different factors affecting specialty choice: 

Physician perspective: Why did you choose your specialty?
Spotlight | Houston Parks
Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens | Bayou Bend is the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's house museum for American decorative arts and paintings. Displayed in the former home of Houston civic leader and philanthropist Ima Hogg (1882-1975), the collection is one of the finest showcases of American furnishings, silver, ceramics, and paintings in the world. The house is situated on 14 acres of organically maintained gardens in Houston's historic River Oaks neighborhood.
Buffalo Bayou Park | This large green space is west of downtown. Great for runners and bikers with long stretches of paved trails. It stretches 2.3 miles long! In the Eleanor Tinsley section of the park, there is a sand volleyball court.
Cockrell Butterfly Center | Next to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the glass-enclosed butterfly habitat includes a simulated rainforest and thousands of colorful butterflies. A dramatic 50-foot waterfall and exotic plants transport visitors.
Discovery Green | This downtown park offers free yoga classes, movie nights and toddler story times. The park has a playground, spray fountain and Mist Tree, great for hot Houston days. Enjoy free WiFi and open air reading rooms, or borrow balls or games.
McGovern Centennial Gardens | Check out this beautiful section of Hermann Park
Smither Park | This is an urban green space with a quirky collection of large mosaic sculptures created by local artists - about 20 minutes east of school, off of 45
Finding Meaning in Medicine
“... my grandfather was a high school dropout, my father was a high school dropout, I was a high school dropout -- and we’re about to break the cycle. I do what I do so my son won’t have to go through what I went through.” - Eric Thomas, PhD

You’ve probably seen enough to realize that talking about one’s purpose is the standard for any kind of well-being discussion, regardless of career. Yet the reality of answering the question “what is your why” truly is crucial when it comes to finding real meaning in your life, and so we can’t help but to continue the conversation. It is no secret that medicine is a field that lends itself to burnout, for all the reasons you can imagine and more. And so if you got yourself into medicine only for yourself, things will be very difficult when tough times inevitably show up. There has to be some other driving force in life to keep you going because the career alone is relentlessly consuming, and will not hesitate to take and take and take from you. The good news is that you can find your purpose in just about anything. We all come from different backgrounds, different experiences, different traumas -- there is no “one-size-fits-all” purpose. Maybe you’re making history by being the first one in your family to become a doctor, setting the standard for generations to come. Or maybe you are already carrying the torch for an existing legacy of medicine, striving to preserve excellence. Maybe you just want a better life for your children, both the ones with thumbs and the ones with paws. We don’t know you, and we certainly don’t know what you’ve been through. But we do know that you have come too far to only come this far, so we encourage you to either search for your purpose or hold fast to the one you already found, because your purpose is counting on you.  
MS4 Advice
Cooking is more than just a necessity for me - it’s a creative outlet. I grew up in a family where food formed the foundation of all relationships, social gatherings, and quality family time. Rarely was there a lull in my mom’s kitchen; I often had to clean it several times a day just to make room for even more cooking. Despite my protests over the number of dishes I had to wash, I’ve come to deeply appreciate the years of culinary knowledge and practice I have gained from helping my mom cook. Now, I cherish my time in the kitchen as it has become one of my primary forms of stress relief. My leisure time is often spent reading cookbooks about a variety of world cuisines, learning about proper culinary techniques and authentic flavors. I love to plan my recipes out in advance, tweaking and modifying them to my liking. Then when I actually cook, the whole process can encompass half a day. I take pride in making everything I can from scratch. I will take the time to grind my own meat, mix my own spice blends, knead my own dough, and even inadvertently start a small fire on my comal whilst searing marinated pineapples. The food I create is ultimately an extension of myself. My stress melts away when I can eat my own delicious homemade meal, and especially when I can share it with others.

| Anamaria Dragan, MS4
Tasty Recipes
Hot Topics
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Houston Happenings

Are conflicts or concerns causing you undue stress? Contact the Office of the Academic Ombuds. Robin Dickey, PhD, MA, LPC, is available as a listener, mediator, and coach for all members of our UTHealth family. Make an appointment today! https://www.uth.edu/evpara/academic-ombuds.htm
TAO | Therapy Assistance Online
The Student Health and Counseling Clinic is excited to share a wellness tool available to all students, faculty, and staff at UTH. TAO (Therapy Assistance Online) is an interactive, self-guided, web-based program that consists of tools and educational materials to help you learn about and change how you think and feel. 
Thrive at UT
Thrive at UT is a free app designed to enhance UT student well-being and help busy students live their best life. Thrive helps you make small changes in your routine that have powerful long-term impacts.
Brought to you by the McGovern Student Wellness & Resilience Committee
Questions, Comments, or Contributions to The Well,
please email MS.Wellness@uth.tmc.edu