Happy New Year!  Many bring in the New Year with resolutions to go to the gym, quit smoking, read more, learn a new hobby or skill and the list goes on.  I won't be joining the estimated 40% of Americans who make these resolutions.  Like most Americans, I'm not very good at keeping them.  Rather, I plan to revisit my list of values that help guide me in life, those  things and ideas that anchor me in my work and home life.  The busy nature of our lives as physicians often leaves us with little time to reflect on our days and what gives meaning to the work we do.   

Most of us participated in the reflective exercise of drafting a personal statement as we applied to our residency programs.  I recently dusted mine off and read that I was passionate about prevention, serving the underserved, and working internationally.  I was full of energy and idealism.  I was passionate about caring for patients and for advocating for a better healthcare system.  On my best days, I feel like I live by this ethos, but on my busiest days, cynicism creeps in.  Holding those values in the present helps me through long and difficult days.  I encourage you to look back at your own personal statements in the new year.

NHMS has a core list of values that we bring to our efforts every day:  Altruism, Integrity, Inclusiveness, Humanism, Science, Respect, Activism, and Excellence.  Many of these are probably reflected in your own personal statements and values.  By staying true to these values we carry forward the NHMS mission of bringing together physicians to advocate for the well-being of our patients, for our profession and for the betterment of the public health. 2013 will be a busy year in Concord as the issues our Legislature will have to consider will surely impact our profession. Rather than choosing a path of self improvement this year, join me in a return to our values to ground us in the work ahead.