About a year ago, I was asked to contribute to an op-ed for the ASSH (American Surgical Society for the Hand) email newsletter. The premise was "How I Do Things Differently" - compared to past experiences and training and now, what I have learned over the years. Some of the topics were germane to hand surgery and one topic was something that is applicable to everyone, not just surgeons. I felt I could share this with our readers.
I am a very fortunate individual. I have a beautiful family, a great career and I am generally healthy. I work hard and I play hard too. I enjoy treating and helping patients. I enjoy going to my office or OR daily. That keeps me busy in and of itself but I am also involved in other activities like coaching my son’s baseball team, family commitments, etc.
A few years ago, I was approached by an owner of a dance studio to see if I would be interested in participating in a fundraiser. She had a vision. I initially thought that I had no time but found myself saying yes. Each physician that participated was paired with a professional dance instructor (like Dancing with the Stars TV show). We choreographed a dance routine and we raised money for a charitable organization. That year happened to be for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We raised $40,000 as a group. It was a really fun night and a great experience. I came out of my comfort zone and did something I am not good at nor did I think I could be good at …..But I actually won a trophy and raised a fair amount of money for LLS! This turned into other charitable endeavors and other great experiences, including meeting new and fantastic people. It renewed my sense of hope in society and I mean that in this way – despite the evil things we see on TV and in the media daily, the majority of people are great and positive thinking and helpful and altruistic. It was refreshing.
Besides other fundraisers and supportive activities I have been involved in since then, I still come back to DWTDocs every year as the Master of Ceremonies and dance as an “alumnus” in the opening number. We have raised over $380,000 in 5 years. Our 6th annual event (which will benefit the RI Home & Hospice Organization - now called Hope Health) is in a few weeks, April 13. I think challenging myself enlightened me and improved my sense of purpose and lessened complacency. I would challenge anyone reading this to do things out of your comfort zone and look for things that can be inspiring to you.
PS - the doctors dancing this year if you are interested are here. I believe the event is sold out but you may be able to watch it on facebook live and vote (supporting HopeHealth) for your favorite through the website.