Joy in moment of revelation A cure for burn out

Richard S. Legro, M.D.

Volume 104, Issue 6, Pages 1372-1373


More than midway upon the road of my professional life, deluged with multiple unmet deadlines, I turned to The Lancet for inspiration. There I began reading an article that focused on redesigning the research enterprise. In the article was a table listing the positive and negative motivations for an individual conducting research, and I noted this brief statement of one of the positive reasons, “Joy in Moment of Revelation.” (1) It struck me. Poetic truth, stripped of definite articles, nouns building from one syllable to two to four, the melody from sonorous to cacophonous/caesura to mellifluous, the meaning from a human emotion, ephemeral, to eternal truth, utilizing words that resonate with the holiday season (when this Lancet article originally appeared), all of ancient Latin origin, but also firmly established in our English usage for close to a millennium.

  • Daniel J. Kaser, MD

    Hear, hear!

  • Jason M. Franasiak

    In a time when reports of physician burn out and concerning reports of job satisfaction can be found throughout the medical literature, this piece provided some wonderful perspective and a nice reminder about what to focus upon throughout ones career. A chance to get back to that “desire for revelation” we had as medical students should be revisited often. I agree with Alex that this would be a welcomed edition to fellow reading – perhaps at the SREI Fellow Retreat during our discussion of fellow research.

  • Just like the quoted Lancet article was an inspiration to write it, this “Inklings” piece may be inspirational and motivational for junior investigators going through their first “academic midlife crisis”. Maybe it should be mandatory reading for REI fellows and junior REI faculty, to ensure that despite the many listed day-to-day frustrations (which we can all relate to!) we don’t give up striving for the brief moments of revelation.

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