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SOGH January 2018 Newsletter 

Dayna Smith, M.D. and Jane Van Dis, M.D.
Co-editors, SOGH Newsletter 
The Society of OB/GYN Hospitalists is dedicated to improving outcomes for hospitalized women and supporting those who share this mission.
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Dear Colleagues, 

Recently a colleague asked me, “Do you ever just feel like you’re careening from one thing to the next?” Sadly, my answer was a resounding yes. And lately it’s been more than a “feeling.” On more than one occasion, I’ve failed to keep all the balls in the air…like realizing just minutes before the school play that the tickets I’d bought were for Saturday (and it was Sunday). Or when I stumbled through a presentation before a large audience because, as it turns out, the slide show I was running was not my updated version. Needless to say, careening is an all-too-familiar feeling.

But as I write this, the New Year is just a few days away which means it’s time to reflect on the past year, contemplate what’s ahead, and perhaps even proclaim a New Year’s resolution. I’ve never been one to declare a resolution, at least not openly, for fear that someone might actually hold me to it, or worse yet, be aware of my failure to uphold it.

But this year I’ve decided to take the “go big or go home" approach and am not only committing to a New Year’s resolution, but am proclaiming it publicly. Inspired by Dr. Haramati’s sobering yet inspiring talk “Managing Stress, Building Resilience” (1) my New Year’s resolution is to practice mindfulness in 2018. For those who may not be familiar, mindfulness simply put, is focusing the mind on what is happening in the present moment. Mindfulness can be achieved using a variety of techniques (meditation, imagery, breathing techniques, etc.) but regardless of the medium, science shows us that when we practice mindfulness, stress hormones are lowered which leads to lower  blood pressure, lower heart rate, improved concentration, and reduced feelings of perceived stress, anxiety, pain and depression (1). 

The concept of mindfulness and other practices that help to reduce stress are gaining more and more attention in medicine as the issues of stress and burnout are becoming more prevalent. This is especially good news for OB/GYN hospitalists due to the high-stress, high stakes nature of our work. In the New Year, I encourage you all to be “mindful” of these issues and when that careening feeling creeps in, that you consider giving a stress-relieving practice like mindfulness a try. This is my New Year’s resolution - and you can even hold me to it.

All the best in the New Year!

Tanner Colegrove, M.D.


References and Resources:
1) SOGH Annual Clinical Meeting, September 24-27, 2017, New Orleans, LA 

1) May Clinic Healthy Lifestyle Consumer Health