Have you watched the show Ted Lasso? If yes, high five. If not, don't worry. I'll give you some quotes from characters on the show and explain why I think they're relevant to your life!
#6. Doctor Sharon Fieldstone: Are you good at your job? … Put all bull**** humility aside and be honest with me. Are you good at your job? Yes or no?
Ted: Um, yes.
Doctor: I believe you. Well, as good as you are at your job, I'm twice as good at mine.
Ted doesn't like therapists, but Dr. Fieldstone knows exactly what she is doing. She helps the team, including Ted, not only on the football (soccer) field, but in their lives.
Read: Wrath and incompetence
Like the screaming child who needs an IV, or the chemotherapy that's literally difficult to swallow, or any 36-hour call, medicine can be tough on both sides of the gurney.
Dr. Fieldstone doesn't laugh at the coaches' antics. The guys find her intimidating. I immediately related to her: when you're an outsider, especially in multiple ways (female, Black, academic, non-athlete), you either have to fit in with the guys to make them like you or make them respect you. Dr. Fieldstone chose respect. Go, Dr. Fieldstone!
#5. Nathan: If Dani needs motivation, we could always just show him his goddamn pay check.
Ted: I mean, that's a tad aggressive, you know. But hey, I shouldn't bring an umbrella to a brainstorm, so I appreciate you getting the ball rolling, Nate.
Nathan's attitude (I accidentally wrote attidude, which is appropriate) is how the public treats doctors. Don't complain. Look at your bank balance. Sure, the bank balance helps for those of us lucky enough not to stagger under a crippling debt load. But it doesn't make up for losing sleep for 15 years, or having to move across the country from your family, operate through a miscarriage, or miss your five-year-old's birthday party. Capitalism doesn't understand the most important things in life. Give yourself grace. Keep the ball rolling.
#4 Sam: I like the idea of someone becoming rich because of what they gave to the world, not just because of who their family is.
This is the beauty of medicine. Although I squirm inside sometimes at the environmental destruction of medicine (all those sharp needles washing up at the beach, the little plastic cups for every pill I order, the gloves and other PPE…), I consider what I do a net good for the world. I have set bones, talked to people who felt suicidal, delivered babies, made kids laugh, held people's hands, and sat at the bed-side of someone at the end of life.
Contrast that with the biggest antagonist of the Ted Lasso series, Rupert, the rich guy who previously owned this football team. He goes through women like toilet paper. Made me want to shout at the women, "Wouldn't you rather make your own money?"
I would honestly rather spend decades in school and learn how to save lives and make people healthier than starve myself and flitter around at the whims of some rich old man. And I bet you would, too.
#3. Roy: No. I brought you here to remind you that football is a ****ing game that you used to play as a ****ing kid. 'Cause it was fun, even when you were getting your ****ing legs broken or your ****ing feelings hurt. So, **** your feelings, **** your overthinking, **** all that bullshit, go back out there and have some ****ing fun.
Have fun. No matter how heartbreaking medicine is at times, I try to enjoy myself every shift. Maybe a kid stops crying and picks out a sticker. Maybe a nurse and I share a moment. Maybe my colleague and I geek out over a cool case. Doesn't have to be big moment, it just has to be yours.
#2. Ted: I want you to be grateful that you're going through this sad moment with all these other folks. Because I promise you, there is something worse out there than being sad, and that is being alone and being sad. Ain't nobody in this room alone.
#2. Coach Beard: You know, we used to believe that trees competed with each other for light. Suzanne Simard's field work challenged that perception, and we now realize that the forest is a socialist community. Trees work in harmony to share the sunlight.
Medicine is competitive and toxic and lonely. That is true for sure. But if you're going to last decades in this industry, join forces. Make friends. Share the sunlight. Stick together. In the end, you can't eat money or prestige, but friendship lives on.
#1. Dr. Fieldstone (to Ted): Thanks to you, I've learned that expressing my vulnerabilities can help my patients with theirs. You helped me become a better therapist. And that's saying something, because I was already ****ing brilliant.
Mild spoiler: we learn that Dr. Fieldstone is brilliant at her job but not perfectly healthy herself. She has a therapist of her own to do her own work. Yes, this helps her become a better doctor. But it also helps her have a better life.
That's the theme of Ted Lasso, really. You think the show is about winning at football, or in our case, we think the point is to become a better doctor.
Work harder! Faster! Stronger! Score all the goals! Steal all the glory!
But the reason I connect with the show is because it's really about being vulnerable and giving second chances and taking care of each other. Do the best you can. Help as many as possible.
It was never about the money.
You may win according to someone else's scorecard while feeling utterly miserable because you left your family on the other side of the Atlantic.
Love your life. Choose yourself.