In the medical education literature there's something called Attentive Capacity or attention. In the operating room it manifests itself when a surgeon asks for the music to be turned down at a difficult point in the operation. She needs to use all of her concentration to focus on the task at hand, and the music is using part of that concentration.
Being so busy back at work the past few weeks I begin to wonder if creativity is also governed by a similar capacity limit. Accomplishing tasks in the hospital is difficult and requires thinking outside of the box. All doctors are advocates for their patients and spend days making sure that they get the right care. Does that take up their ability to focus on creative outlets? Is that why coming back to residency has put a stop to a lot of my reading?
Having just been away doing an MBA the first solution that comes to mind is to standardize patient flow to make sure that I don't have to put in all this legwork to treat patients. But, working with orthopedic trauma also reminds me of the varied needs of patients. Better to have strong advocates and personalized care.
How else can we maintain our creative pursuits and our personalities when working hard? I'm going to keep looking for the balance and the solution to increase my creative capacity. Maybe it's this blog?