A New Year, A New Set of Resolutions

Alice Ma, MD
Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill

It’s the dawn of a new year, and I’m sure this is one of many columns in many different publications you will read in which the author details his or her goals for the coming year. Personally, I always try to come up with a list of resolutions, with the hope that completing them will make my life happier, more productive, and maybe even more rewarding. Sitting down to make the list is such a calming ritual that I sometimes wonder if making the list is just as satisfying as actually keeping any of the resolutions. And, of course, resolving to do better in the new year also serves to soothe my overdeveloped Asian, Catholic sense of guilt.

So, here are my five resolutions for 2015:

  1. I will clean off my desk – really. This is the year that this is finally, actually going to happen. I will unearth the actual physical surface of the desk and keep it free from debris for an entire month. I fully accept that this may involve losing forms I was supposed to fill out six months ago. However, having a clean desk will be worth it – if only for the jaw-dropping stares of visitors who formerly had to stand on their tiptoes to see me over the stacks of chaotically organized towers of paper.
  2. I will learn the complement cascade and remember it – for at least 10 minutes. I always figured that, since I knew the coagulation cascade, I could be excused from knowing the complement cascade. No one should be expected to know both, right? Since it turns out that the complement system has been shown to play a bigger and bigger role in diseases that I study, though, I guess I’m going to have to bite the bullet and commit complement cascades to memory. Yes, even both the classical and the alternative ones. Geez, it’s going to be a tough year.
  3. I will think one nice thought about each of my coworkers each day and try to suppress any snarky comment that threatens to disrupt the nice thought. And, if one does, I will think another nice thought about that person in recompense.
  4. I will read one article per week about a subject I have no current interest in to expand my scope of knowledge. I’m particularly looking forward to learning about the treatment options that are replacing 7+3 in acute myeloid leukemia and R-CHOP in non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
  5. I vow to remain a Luddite and maintain my ignorance of all manner of social media – Tweeting and Instagramming and Pinteresting and Facebooking.

Here’s wishing you all a productive and happy 2015!

The content of the Editor’s Corner is the opinion of the author and does not represent the official position of the American Society of Hematology unless so stated.

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