Surprised by a Song: Gifts from a Study with Women Physicians

What a month July has been so far, and it’s not even halfway! This weekend has been a blessing, beginning with the first zoom session of our new book study for women physicians of Recapturing Joy in Medicine. We are coming together for mutual support, learning, and to empower one another — and what a gift this is! I can’t wait for the next one. Reach out to me if you’d like to join us; we’d love to have you! You’ll find many options to order the book here or, if it’s safe, call to see if the Barnes & Noble near you is carrying it. If it’s not yet on their shelves, they’ll order it for you!

A highlight of our first book study was having women join from different parts of the country and world. This included a lovely physician I met in Arizona last year when I spoke at an AAFP national conference on physician wellness.* We stayed connected since then, and she joined our study from the mountains of Puerto Rico — my native home! And here’s the sweet surprise of the night… Throughout our call, I could hear the song of the coquí streaming in through her windows … such a beautiful and unexpected gift! This put a smile on my face and heart the entire time. I miss our precious ‘tree frogs’ and their song, and felt so connected to my roots and the beauty and joy of our island.

This was one of those moments that remind me of the verse upon which my work with physicians is built, Proverbs 11:25,

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

I am living in the reality of this verse and feel deeply grateful for this blessing.

With the songs of the coquí still fresh on my mind, yesterday I had the opportunity to speak virtually to more than 400 family physicians. True to the name of our specialty, although we met remotely, the interactive platform made it feel like a family zoom call. Between private and public chats, outstanding presentations, and up-to-date content, this new venue for learning was a hit! And, who knows? It’s possible I accepted the challenge to present while wearing flip flops. I will neither confirm nor deny this fun rumor. ;)

I’m grateful for the many comments I received during and after the conference from colleagues who were inspired by my words. My hope is one outcome of the pandemic will be that physicians will regain the autonomy that was snatched from us while we were busy caring for people, neglecting our needs, and letting opportunists take advantage of our altruism and work ethic. NO more!

Much more is yet to come, and I’m grateful. During this global crisis, let us not neglect what’s most important. Let us tend to our wellbeing in mind, body, soul, and spirit while caring for others so we may give out of full hearts.


* I will also speak at the 2021 AAFP Physician Health & Wellbeing Conference in Naples, FL. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available!

Amaryllis Sánchez Wohlever, MD (Dr. Mari)

I am the author of Recapturing Joy In Medicine and I am passionate about physician wellness, burnout prevention, and Helping Docs Thrive™ in the midst of a broken system in constant flux. As a coach for physicians, I love helping my colleagues develop their strengths, recapture their original calling into medicine, and embark on a path to greater joy, meaning, and purpose in medicine and in life.

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