Onur Yenigun (@dr.onury), MD
"When I was a kid, I said "I want to be a doctor." I remember it was 4th grade, and I was living with my aunt. I watched that TV show, ER. I just somehow got inspired, I called my mom that night, I said, "You know mom, nurses are always happy on TV, I think you should be a nurse because that will really help you cheer up."
She wasn't really into it at first, but she after a while, said, "If you help me, maybe I can do it." I moved back with my mom and spent 5th and 6th-grade translating nursing books into Turkish, to help her study. And then just seeing my mom come out of that hole and be more happy, and actually have direction as a nurse in health care just fascinated me. So I spent a lot of time following her in the nursing home, and just talking to patients and communicating with them. Just making that bond, and I loved it.
I think the most challenging part of my job is the fear of failure. We spend so many years getting to this point, to be physicians, and people come to us and put their life in our hands.
And it's sometimes terrifying, being scared that you're going to make a mistake because when we do, it can have real dire consequences, people can die.
People have to realize is getting from point A to point B, it's not easy. I mean, you go on an eight-hour road trip, and you're going to hit issues. Imagine an 8, 10-year path. You're going to hit roadblocks and you have to learn how to adapt them. It was really important to know where you are going and keep that path in mind and just fight for it. And please, do not be afraid to fail. I have failed many times. I have fallen. It is all about getting back up. When I have a tough shift now, it’s those failures that I’ve had that I’ve learned from that get me through that, I know I have that support behind me.
"Stress levels definitely do get high, after a 12 to 14-hour shifts, sometimes I leave, sometimes I feel defeated, sometimes I feel uplifted. But I think the way I really get rid of that stress and that built up tension, one thing is I call my grandma. I almost always call my grandma after a shift and just talk about my day, and she listens, and I know inevitably, no matter what, at the end, she is going to tell me "Onur, you're awesome, you're a great doctor, and you're doing well."
The other thing is working out. That means a lot to me. I don't work out just to relieve stress. I also like to stay fit because I feel like it's a good example for my patients. So often as physicians, we're counseling patients, on making healthy decisions in terms of nutrition, and telling them to exercise. I feel like if I'm not a good example of that, I don't want to feel hypocritical telling someone that. Definitely, after a long shift, if I just go do some push-ups, lift some weights, and I just dump all that emotional burden right there in the gym and go home, I feel that I'm better." Onur Yenigun, MD. #RealCaregiversRealStories