Welcome to my blog, a place to explore and learn about the experience of running a psychiatric practice. I post about things that I find useful to know or think about. So, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


I've been thinking about the connection between deadlines and values. There's nothing like a good, looming deadline to help establish priorities. I guess that's the principle behind triage. But I'm thinking about less life-threatening choices.

I'm writing another article for The Carlat Report. Not sure if I'm allowed to discuss details, so I won't (until it's published). It's due at the end of the month, and obviously, I'm making it a priority, especially since it requires a fair bit of research.

This week has been a little rough. My mom died a year ago Friday, and the anniversary of her death hit me harder than I expected. I suppose that's what got me thinking about setting priorities.

So what's important? Obviously, meeting an article deadline.

But what about other responsibilities and projects I've taken on? I co-teach a class on technique once a week-that'll run until March.

I feel very strongly about continuing POLL, the free online journal club I started together with Jim Amos of The Practical Psychosomaticist, and George Dawson of Real Psychiatry, although it's been hard to get people to comment. But I don't want to give up, because I truly believe that in the long run, that kind of format will be more important for lifelong learning and professional collaboration than any MOC requirement.

What about this blog? It's been a challenge and a pleasure to come up with things to write about. It forces me to read a lot of professional material, to stay current, and to think critically. It also forces me to write, which has always been an outlet for me.

Oh yeah, I also have a day job. I like working with patients, but I hate the paperwork, especially since the notes no longer have anything to do with treatment.

And then there's family. And friends. And the pain-in-the-butt dog:

Almost forgot: health, exercise, cooking, reading, movies, Cable Series, art, music, theater, chocolate, exploring NYC, crocheting:

There are other things I'd like to learn, like how to play guitar, and paint with watercolors, and  knit, and hem a pair of pants, and fold a fitted sheet, and html, and photoshop. When am I ever gonna find the time to become an architect and design and build a summer home? When am I ever gonna be able to afford a summer home? Will I get to visit the Galapagos before they're polluted to the point of not being worth seeing? What about the screenplay I want to write on The Controversial Discussions (more on that in another post)? And the coffee-table book on architectural ironwork:

And since I'm nowhere near having them yet, I don't need to make time for grandchildren. But I want them big-time, and I suspect most other things will fall by the wayside if I'm fortunate enough to ever get them.

Life is short. You give up some paths to pursue others. It's rare that you need to make life-and-death decisions. But you're always making this-life vs. that-life decisions.

How do you prioritize?

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