Be Your Own Editor


This year, I learned that to have success and fulfillment, you don’t just DO, sometimes you have to UNDO. 


What do I mean by that? The process of undoing - or editing - it a key part of different areas of our lives. For example, we edit in medicine all the time. Think about the medical student’s SOAP note: the subjective story, the objective findings, the assessment and the plan. Imagine what a novel that daily note would be if in the subjective, details that weren’t pertinent to the current problem were included. “Mrs. S complains of shoulder pain, but likes mint chip ice cream over plain vanilla, and has a neighbor who has a dog named Scrappy.”  You may notice that the resident’s note is shorter than the medical student, and the attending’s note is even shorter. There is a reason that as we rise in the ranks of our medical training, our notes get shorter and more succinct. We edit. Even in surgery, as our skills...

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