CPM Summer 2018 - 29

daup h i n c m s .o rg


n today's work environment, medical practitioners are
pushed to be productive, supportive, and forward-thinking.
Attempting to balance caring for patients while staying up
to date on information and also seeking to create solutions
in an ever-evolving medical system leaves physicians and other
health care workers drained. My medical training has stressed
not only the importance of medical science and practice but
also the power of personal wellness. If I am to excel as a student
and a doctor, I have to maintain a certain amount of physical
and mental reserve. The art of jiu jitsu became my way of doing
just that.

Jiu jitsu was something I sort of stumbled upon right before
medical school started. While I have been dedicated to going to
the gym for many years, I never really played sports except for
maybe town soccer in elementary school. I actually got into jiu
jitsu through a friend the summer before starting medical school.
I found it awkward at first and was not sure I would stick with
it. However, my teammates encouraged me to keep working
at it, and after seeing the way my coaches dictated a fight, I
knew I wanted to keep developing my jiu jitsu. Medical school
started and I continued to train. The more I trained the more I
realized how valuable jiu jitsu was to my medical training and
my future medical practice. While I will most certainly never
have to fight in the clinic, the lessons I have learned from jiu
jistu are invaluable. These lessons include discipline, humility,
and creativity.
Learning jiu jitsu and moving up in the ranks requires
discipline. To earn even one promotion requires months to
years of diligent practice. Each belt is earned through learning
techniques, applying them to matches, losing, re-evaluating,
and readjusting until a technique works. As a blue belt, I am
expected to consistently perform basic attacks and escapes while
also working to develop more advanced techniques that work
well for my body type and athleticism. There are days where
I do well and there are days where I don't. Learning to push
through valleys and plateaus is important to improving. Being
able to set goals and having the discipline to push through
difficult moments is also important in medicine as I hope to
continually improve whether it is in how I communicate with
my patients or peers or how I manage difficult cases.

Of course, being able to improve in my medical practice also
requires humility. Humility affords me the ability to admit where
I struggle and accept criticism. As I mentioned before, part of
the process of becoming good at jiu jitsu requires losing and
accepting criticism from your more experienced teammates.
At some point, you even learn to ask for feedback on what you
are doing wrong. In the future, I will also have a team of more
experienced physicians who can mentor me in the same way.
The final lesson, creativity, is important for medicine as physicians are constantly plagued with unique circumstances and
problems that require thinking outside of the box. Creativity
is a strange and difficult skill to cultivate, but jiu jitsu forces
the mind to solve problems under pressure. In the middle of
a match, you must adjust your movements to out maneuver
someone larger or stronger than you or your other normal
training partners. You also have to implement your strategies
while also trying to mitigate your opponent's attempts to play
their game. To get advantages and points requires that you do
all of these things almost simultaneously. Your teammates are
also always evolving their games and adapting to yours, so if
you want to stay competitive, you have to keep thinking what
if. This aspect of jiu jitsu is one of my favorites and has really
helped me develop the ability to think on my feet.
I could write many more pages on the things that I have gained
from jiu jitsu, but I will close with this. I look forward to jiu
jitsu not only because I get to develop my creativity and my
game but also because I am surrounded by amazing teammates.
Spending time with them gives me space to be more human.
Medicine is great, but I found that I can easily get bogged down
with the weight of my career. Spending time with people who
don't do medicine and make me smile is one of the restorative
aspects of jiu jitsu. When I am on the mat, I get to fight fun
battles, so I can return to the clinic recharged and ready to fight
whatever battles await me as a doctor.

As a martial artist for years, this article is near and dear to my heart. As someone that has moved through the ranks
in Hapkido as well as the ranks as a Medical student and resident, the discipline required is similar and what
it takes to achieve a high belt as well as becoming a physician is one in the same. Well done. Well done. But the
journeys never end in either field. 

Central PA Medicine Summer 2018 29


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CPM Summer 2018

CPM Summer 2018 - 1
CPM Summer 2018 - 2
CPM Summer 2018 - 3
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