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These things take time

It has been a while since I wrote an update on our progress, for a combination of reasons. Firstly, crunch time for my Health Leadership masters arrived in the form of a pile of assignments. I had initial lofty intentions of finally being a grown-up, getting myself organised and smugly submitting everything in advance. It turns out ingrained habits are hard to shake, and I am apparently still unable to focus without a healthy dose of time pressure. After all, where is the joy in writing in a relaxed state with ample time to proofread? Unfortunately, I had not accounted for the almost decade since I last attempted last minute assignment pushes. The years have not been kind to my all-nighter abilities. Or alcohol tolerance; to add insult to injury, I felt hungover after the single (albeit rather large) glass of wine I downed after recording a presentation to a fake WHO at 1am. As is probably evident from this ramble, my ability to string together more coherent words for BYS has been temporarily depleted.

My other distraction was getting a job. After a year of gainful unemployment and student-dom, I decided it was probably time to make some money. I start a non-clinical role with the PHO (primary health service) in Hawke’s Bay soon doing what I can at this point elaborately describe as system improvement ‘stuff’. Hopefully all will become clear in time! But a new challenge is always good and it will be nice to see a few more human beings during the week.

Finally, these more personal entries also feel like a slightly indulgent form of reflection, and I got a bit self-conscious about it. However, we have received some lovely feedback recently and as I do enjoy reading accounts of other people’s journeys, I will continue to share ours.

Anyway, to the update. Paul, my more silent partner-in-crime, has spent countless hours designing what will be our version 2 website. It was March last year when we confidently told our developer we would have this to him within a month, two at most. He sagely stated these things often take longer than you think. Pfft, pessimist, we said. We are efficient, bright eyed, bushy tailed entrepreneurs. We eat deadlines for breakfast. Well. 14 months later, we are finally almost there. Endearing enthusiasm or blind naivety...take your pick. We are really pleased with the result though – well worth the many ‘creative differences’ and revisions along the way.

My main focus has been starting to map out the development arm of BYS. This has been my main passion project from day-one: providing and sharing resources to support development of all the non-clinical skills we are expected to excel in but never get taught. We want to make this into more than simply a tokenistic effort and it is something we want to get right. I have also had a touch of imposterism around starting to produce content in this area – why would anyone want to listen to me? – but my fantastic support network have kindly persuaded me to get over myself! More on this to come very soon.

We have also been invited to present at not one but two conferences – for the NZ Medical Student Association in July and the inaugural NZ Women in Medicine event in September. These will be our first opportunity to introduce BYS to anyone outside of a Zoom screen which is a little terrifying but mostly exciting.

Our other ongoing project is the long-procrastinated BYS podcast. Delayed purely due to my being a bit of a wimp, the wheels are finally in motion. More on that next time! :)

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