last year i had an interview in Panacea, the Australian Medical Students’ Association magazine, it was for being awarded the inaugural National Student Award.

they emailed me a set of questions and i wrote answers then they sent me an edit for final corrections. very nice really. but some of it didn’t get in - probably because i waffle too much.

i thought i’d post some of the questions and answers here. then people (the 3 people who actually read this - hi mum) can accuse me of blowing my own trumpet. which i do, given i’m a trumpet player. or was, during my first degree.

anyway, after that rambling intro, here’s what i had about the whole work life balance issue which people harp on about a lot.

AMSA: As a person with very diverse interests what advice would you offer to junior medical students to help them maintain a good work life balance?

David: The phrase “work life balance” gets used a lot, but I feel like the focus should actually be on “life balance”. I think balance in our lives is predicated on finding sustenance in what we do. Work and study can be sustaining, as can family, sport, art and many other hobbies. Each aspect of our lives can feed into and support the others, and giving our many interests, including work, some attention or space can recharge us and help to maintain our energy levels.

I strongly believe that getting involved – in student groups, in sports groups, in research, in tutoring, in medical forums - and contributing to something that interests you provides sustenance in the long run. I think a quote from Sir William Osler sums things up nicely, “We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from life.”

i sound serious don’t i.