Vegan Muffins for the Family Practice Residents
July 27, 2020
We have HMO Family Practice residents that rotate through our clinic for their outpatient pediatric rotations. It’s their inauguration into the residency program, and we have the honor to teach them. I helped start this clinic site when it started with the first class about 8 years ago. My old mentor and I were the ones who developed and refined the lecture topics, schedule templates, developed how the rotation was organized and first started the residency breakfasts. As with most things, I’ve since handed it over to Dr. AF as I’ve moved onto other middle management roles.
I didn’t value residency education to be honest when I helped start that site of the program. I had been trained at Mans Greatest Hospital and we did not have a Family Practice residency. In fact from my Ivy League medical school, we had only 1-2 graduates go on to family practice and they were looked down upon by our professors. If one wanted to do primary care, one went into pediatrics or internal medicine or med/peds. To go into family practice was courting ruin to your academic medical career, or so the thinking was back then. I had continued onto categorical pediatric residency and had been chief resident. I had won residency teaching awards, and was used to giving lectures at hallowed Ether Domes where I would be scared out of my wits because we were expected to almost memorize our talks. Always I would be ready for those academic skirmishes as the culture was to blast you with questions. I remember being shamed by a pediatric hematology attending during one rotation in front of the entire department, despite having worked on my talk for days.
Regarding my thinking regarding the discipline of Family Practice, I realize how immature and near sighted I was back then. I’ve since learned to treasure our trainees and the value of the discipline of family practice. Some of the best doctors I know are family practitioners, and there is something about seeing the family unit as an intact entity that is powerful. So this morning, I am making vegan muffins for them. Dr. AF has taken over the management as site director for the Family Practice residency program, and he has done a wonderful job. I handed him my color coded spreadsheet years ago, and he has taken ownership. Sometimes group projects are better, and with everything at work and with the earth – it’s best not to be possessive. We can share credit, and we can share responsibilities for many things. Many hands make light work.
And this morning is an example of the evolution of my thinking. I used to spend about $150-$200 catering breakfast for the residency and the office to usher them into their program. There is little funding for anything these days, so I just deducted it as a business expense. Few of the other MDs have the extra reserve to spend that much buying food for the residents and the office year after year. I used to be so self-congratulatory about my financial prowess that I was financially independent enough to cater them breakfast, and indeed buy the office food all the time. And I used to be often irritated that others would not contribute.
But what I realized more and more, is my own tunnel vision prevented me from seeing how much others do. Dr. AF brought a beautiful cake the other day, and then homemade cheesecake the next day. One of his family members is baking A LOT. Some people do the dishes in the lunchroom. Someone replenishes the sugar and creamer. I try to do this as well.
And this morning, we are all contributing and pitching in. What I realized is the whole point of the breakfast is to feed the residents, but to feed them in the way we hope to practice together. We all contribute what we can and from our hearts. Hopefully with the thought of their healths in our minds, and plantary health.
Dr. AF decided to have a yogurt bar, and everyone is bringing a little bit of something. I have chia and flax seed, and granola in reusable containers. I did not judge him for having a yogurt bar, because he is mostly vegetarian. I am trying to be mostly vegan, although I had eggs in our Miso Soup last night. But this morning, I tried a batch of vegan muffins. I used coconut flakes and it had cinamon and halved the brown sugar. Instead of eggs, vegan muffins use flaxseed immersed in warm water. I just tried the vegan muffins and I actually think they are pretty good. I purposefully put half of the sugar in them. I hope they like it. If not, I’ll eat them because I like the subtle sweet flavor with my coffee. I left some for the kids this morning, and I know it is good for them and good for the earth. Filled with bulk oats, coconut flakes (I need to use up), and all ingredients we had from home and not too much brown sugar. And most importantly, NO PLASTIC! Yeah! And I made them myself and it made me happy. I don’t need to rush to the local bagel place to pick up bagel sandwhiches filled with processed cured meats and cheeses that will give our entire office diabetes. Better to eat plastic free vegan muffins and chia and flax seed in a yogurt bar.