Medicine

Embracing Change: Insights from an Iraqi Doctor on Resilience, Mindfulness, and Thriving Amidst… | by Lena (Ley) | Apr, 2024

Embracing Change: Insights from an Iraqi Doctor on Resilience, Mindfulness, and Thriving Amidst Challenges

I was 25 when I graduated from medical school. The joy of receiving my medical certificate quickly gave way to a gnawing uncertainty. What next? I had always known I wanted to help people, but as I held that certificate in my hands, I felt an unshakeable sense of purpose eluding me.

During my hematology rotation in residency, I faced the harsh realities of cancer. I witnessed the challenges firsthand, seeing lives affected and families grappling with uncertainty. In the sterile hospital environment, I came across a father’s heartfelt plea, highlighting the profound impact of this disease on individuals and their loved ones.

He was the father of a young man, his eyes weary from sleepless nights and his voice trembling with desperation. “How,” he implored me, “how will I cope? We sold everything for my son’s treatment, and still, we lost him to leukemia.”

With a renewed sense of purpose, I began searching for opportunities in cancer research. Day and night blurred together as I explored every option. Then, the University of Leicester offered me a chance to contribute to the fight against cancer — a lifeline in my journey.

But as I crossed oceans to reach this new chapter of my life, I found myself confronting yet another formidable challenge. The unfamiliarity of a new country, the cadence of a different accent, the kaleidoscope of faces and cultures — suddenly, I was adrift in a sea of unknowns.

Every day brought its own set of doubts and insecurities, testing my resilience in the face of uncertainty. Stepping into the unknown, leaving behind the warmth of home, felt like navigating through a sea of separation. Memories of family and friends, once so close, now lingered in my mind, a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made in pursuit of my dreams.

In facing significant change, it’s crucial to maintain a steadfast focus on your goals. Your goals serve as the North Star guiding you through uncertainty, anchoring you in purpose and direction. Remember to set clear, actionable goals and break them down into manageable steps, celebrating each milestone along the way.

Additionally, find your circle of support, even if it consists of just one person. Emotional support can be a lifeline during times of transition, providing encouragement, perspective, and a listening ear when needed most. Surround yourself with individuals who believe in…


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