Dr. PK’s Pedi GI’s Risotto Recipe – It Salvaged the Day for Me
July 1, 2021
Yesterday I felt literally and metaphorically “beat up.” I had a root canal and then I had to correctly address a middle-managment issue that required me to apologize. It was the right thing to do, but the circumstances that led up to that apology to a very wonderful person are so complex that it is mind-boggling. Sometimes I get so frustrated. If I was a man, I would not have to deal with many of the issues that make middle-management difficult. It’s still a man’s world, and as a technically part-time woman physician (supposedly 80%) leader – there is still so much unpaid work and responsibilities that I have to bear. It’s difficult for me because I’m the second income, and there is no financial or ego-motive for me. We are financially free, and it would be more cost-effective for me to return to clinic and just have the joy of seeing patients. I fundamentally love patient care. I since long got-over the ego-motives for being in physician leadership. We are glorified bean-counters and more like HOA-association heads. No real power, trying to get everyone to keep their front lawns up to made-up HOA specifications.
But I apologized and it was the right thing for the team, and my words were sincere. It wasn’t me, my actual person apologizing, it was Middle-Management Me apologizing. But in the back of the mind, I think of all the male leaders before me that never apologized. The Chief Boss a few chief bosses ago that made certain hiring decisions. The men that did untoward things to people that never fully had to own up to their moral transgressions. The men that sat there in the same position and essentially made a mess of the schedule that affected my life and the life of many working pediatrician mothers, and not many people said anything. The ones in leadership that formed a hiring system that is so stacked against BIPOC physicians, that it’s literally contributing to structural racism and health inequities. But it’s water under the bridge, and the current leadership team has no idea and they don’t need to know – because they weren’t even in our organization at that time. New team. It’s time to restart. It’s new relationships now. We have to build new connections and get to know eachother. But in my more vulnerable self, I feel hurt. I feel hurt not because of the actual situation that happened that required me to apolgize, but that I remember my journey to get to where I am. I see the accoloades that we are receiving for different metrics and how well run things are, and it was just assumed it was always like that. And I remember the past and how far it took us to get here, and no one remembers the steps and the efforts and the late nights trying to fix a system that seemed unfixable.
But, it is the nature of things and I feel better having done the right thing. It’s a powerful thing for a physician leader to apologize and I realize that. It’s powerful because it was honest and it hurt me, and some needed to see my emotional wounds and there they are for whoever needs to see it.
The absolutely wonderful thing about self-knowledge and not being burned out, is that I have the emotional bandwidth to deal with these issues as they come. I process them right away, and then heal. And part of my healing yesterday was putting those worries and episodes aside and just being a mother. And yesterday although middle-management me was less than stellar, the mommy me and climate activist me was a super-hero.
I made one of my colleague’s Mushroom Spinach Risotto Recipe. While it was cooking in the Instapot, I even went with my daughter to the local sporting goods store and we bought new Volleyball shoes. She had been getting blisters after each practice. So we bought new shoes and I grabbed a pair of more expensive moisture wicking socks. I can afford it and I make money too despite being the “second income,” and that makes me feel somewhat more mommy-super hero as well. And we drove and talked about our day, and my daughter who is beautiful and smart and I hope a reflection of my values gave me advice about work. My ex-preemie gave me advice about team work and my mental well being, because she is working on this issue as part of her Girl Scout Silver Award Project. And looking at my daughter and knowing that I’m there for her as well, that I’m Assistant Boss but also still her Girl Scout Troop leader and can take her to volleyball – that made me feel really wonderful yesterday.
So this Risotto recipe and doing what I did for my child, balanced what could have been an absolutely cr@ppy night. And the recipe was from a friend who also is a working mother pediatrician trying to balance life and is a stellar person. She is well-read and has led a purposeful life, filled with meaningful work and family.
And we did some amazing climate work yesterday too. Pediatric Climate Change and Health Journal Club, and 40 people virtually “showed up.” Helped activate another two medical students to start them on their path toward climate and health work. And met with friends from the Public Health Advisory Committee, Climate Actions Campaign. We have a big task to make sure our hospital signs up for Community Power. It will be a monumental task but very important.
And my climate friend Dr. Perry Sheffield came. She showed up for us, and I’m going to show up for her. I’m going to send her a really cool sustainable gift. I have to figure out what, soon. Thanks for following along on this journey. I’m at the close of thise month, and I surprassed my goal of 20 bags a month and will get bag 30 hopefully today in the HMO parking lot. Yes work can be filled with cr@p but I’ll pick some up and also apologize, because it was the right thing to do. (Although I didn’t do anything wrong LOL).