Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
—Leo Tolstoy.

As I sit down to write, last Thursday 9 September was ‘RUOK’ day and this Friday 17 September is National Physician Suicide awareness day in the USA. The need for these days is evident with a pandemic upon us and shut-downs affecting our ability to work and care for our patients and ourselves.

It is more important than ever that we keep our physical and mental health as highest priorities if we are to remain safe and effective.

I have posted a talk that I gave to the New Zealand Association for Plastic Surgeons (NZAPS) and repeated this month to the ASPS membership. I would encourage you to watch it (you can access the video here: https://youtu.be/nrJT7iTkhxU). It is an opportunity to reflect on what you are doing to prevent burnout and how you might increase your resilience.

The COVID-19 pandemic has stressed us all and effects will run on for years to come. We need to be able to change, to better meet the challenges thrown at us and to develop new ways of interacting and supporting each other in this disrupted environment. Benjamin Franklin said: ‘Out of adversity comes opportunity’ and we can use this interruption to find those opportunities.