As we submit our responses to the daily health screen for the thousandth time; realize, after having removed a mountain of PPE and sanitized our hands, that we left our phone in the patient’s room and would need to re-don everything; repeatedly observe the inevitable struggle with mute/unmute on Zoom; with all of these regular tasks and activities enveloping our lives these days, it’s hard to feel creative. Is the practice of emergency medicine a creative endeavor? How can we increase not just our creative or scholarly output, but also our internal sense of artistry and creation?
Podcast Preview of the Book
Brief Summary of Book
In Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad, Austin Kleon attempts to answer this question (somewhat prophetically, given the book’s 2019 publication)– how can we, even in trying times, continue to nurture our creativity? Throughout the engaging, full-of-art book, Kleon outlines his argument for how, regardless of occupation, each of us can thrive in our creation of new, meaningful output:
- Every day is groundhog day.
- Build a bliss station.
- Forget the noun, do the verb.
- Make gifts.
- The Ordinary + Extra Attention = Extraordinary
- Slay the art monsters.
- You are allowed to change your mind.
- When in doubt, tidy up.
- Demons hate fresh air.
- Plant your garden.
Although Kleon himself writes and draws for a living, his suggestions are also applicable to the practice of emergency medicine, especially for those of us who are in academic, educational, and leadership positions and who need to constantly be creating to stay afloat. The book has an almost Zen quality to it, centering around mindfulness and reframing how we experience the life in front of us, rather than focusing ourselves on chasing an unachievable ideal or becoming absorbed by the mundane. For example, when we’re feeling a creative block, Kleon suggests that we set aside time to draw, like a child does, applying instrument to medium simply to enjoy the process and without an end product in mind– he writes:
“Drawing is simply another way of seeing, which we don’t really do as adults… we’re all going around in a cloud of remembrance and anxiety… and the act of drawing helps us live in the moment and concentrate on what’s really in front of us.”
A cloud of remembrance and anxiety! Yes! That is what the past year has felt like.
If you’re looking to rise out of your personal cloud of remembrance and anxiety, and explore how to infuse your career with creativity to just Keep Going, come join us for the next version of The Leader’s Library! All leaders (past, current, and future) in emergency medicine, of all professions and all locations, are welcome to participate. The book is short and full of drawings, so don’t worry that you won’t have time to read. This will be the most playful and fun iteration of TLL yet! Can’t wait to create with you!
Summary of Book Club Discussion
Book Discussion Group
When: May 25-27, 2021*
Platform: Slack app
Size: 40 registrants
* The Leader’s Library runs asynchronously on the Slack app– jump in whenever you have time!
Deadline to sign up: May 9, 2021
- Submit your interest form with your contact information.
- We will inform you if you’re selected by May 10, 2021.
We would absolutely love to learn and grow with you. Sign up now to secure your spot!
- Felix Ankel, MD: Emergency Physician, Regions Hospital. Medical Director, Education, HealthPartners Institute, Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School (@felixankel)
- Nikita Joshi, MD: Emergency Department medical director, Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland, California (@njoshi8)
- Peter Tomaselli, MD: Assistant Residency Program Director, Emergency Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital/Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (@pjtomaselli)
- Victoria Brazil, MD, MBA: Medical Director of Goal Coast Simulation Service; Co-Producer of Simulcast and Harvard Macy Institute podcasts, Emergency Physician, Bond University (@SocraticEM)
- Dina Wallin, MD: Assistant Medical Director of PEM, San Francisco General Hospital; Director of Didactics, UCSF-SFGH EM residency, San Francisco, California
Learn more about the other Leader’s Library book clubs.
Listen to all of The Leader’s Library podcasts
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