Roshni Bhatnagar, a third-year medical student, shared her perspective on wellness during her OB-GYN rotation. After treating a patient with her attending, she reflected on sharing bad news to the patient's family, realizing that the most valuable thing she could do was show compassion for another person's grief. She wrote:
"Though this family's loss was too great for me to leave the hospital feeling happy at the end of the shift, I found that bringing something positive to their experience still kept me well. After a few years in medical school, I learned that wellness does not always equate to happiness. Rather, wellness is achieving alignment between your actions and your values. In that way, I am lucky to be in a profession in which our actions often demonstrate our values. It may be unrealistic to think that I'll always be happy as a medical student --
there are too many stressful exams, under-slept nights and moments of confusion for me to be happy all the time. But this is a profession that allows me to share a genuine smile or a hand in solidarity so many times a day and those are little actions that can help me be well. Amid lives saved and lives lost, perhaps being well is more rewarding than being happy."