Both sides now: a leap from academics to solo practiceBMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjusa.03040008 (Published 19 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E213
- Rebekah Wang-Cheng
- clinical professor of medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; internist in private practice, St Helena, California; associate editor, BMJ USA
From BMJ USA 2003;April:208
Posted on the outside of my office door were two of my favorite quotes: George Bernard Shaw's “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. Life is no brief shining candle to me, but a brightly lit torch that I want to burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to the next generation,” and “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire” by William Butler Yeats. Teaching students and residents was indeed the “fire in my belly,” my calling and passion for 19 years, after I stumbled into an academic career straight out of residency.
Although numerous teaching awards had validated my career path, the best rewards were from the learners who often presented to my open door to ask advice about residency choices, balancing family life, personal dilemmas, or patient problems. That “aha moment” during rounds when the junior student made the connection between theory and clinical application got me up in the morning.
So how is …