Get out of your rut and onto the road!

Get out of your rut . . .  we’ve all been there.  One day when I was working at my local hospital, I was preparing to do a spinal when someone asked me how I wanted to position the patient.  I said, “Sitting – that’s how I’ve always done it.”  As soon as the words left my mouth, I felt a chill go down my spine.  Those words, “That’s how I’ve always done it” gave me pause.  I had always sworn that I wouldn’t get wedded to one way of doing things or simply doing it because that was how So and So taught it.  The rest of the day I thought about how in a few short years, I was becoming one of “them” – the dinosaurs that I had mocked and derided because of their death-like grip on the “way things were and always should be”.

As the next few days passed, I thought about the rut I was in – getting up each day, driving the same way to work, and doing my job – adequately by all accounts, but I had to face it, I was getting comfortable with the routine.  Now, we all develop routines for a number of reasons – safety, security, etc.  But when the routines become sacrosanct with no apparent reason, therein lies a danger.   

The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

The days passed into weeks, and soon I began to feel more restless.  It was time for a change, but what and how would this change manifest?  I was a physician, and for decades, physicians had been known to settle in a community and stay put until retirement or death.  I didn’t relish the idea of job hunting, and there would be my house to sell, and so on.  A chance encounter at a meeting introduced me to a fellow physician who did locum tenens work for half the year.  I was intrigued, and the more I learned, the more interested I became.  At the end of that year, I resigned my full-time job and entered the locum tenens life. Soon after starting my locum tenens career, I went on my first medical mission.  If you want to discuss a way of getting out of your rut, going on a mission is one incredible way to do it.  Out of your comfort zone?  Try having little or no comfort!  At the same time you are expected to do your job and do it well. Developing a fresh perspective is a prescription for “derutting” your life.  Now over a decade later, I have written a book about my experiences and created this blog to highlight aspects of this lifestyle as well as a few other tidbits.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for me to get back on the road .