Fall 2023

Members & Publications


Embracing Gratitude in the Bustling Life of a Resident Physician

Choudhury frame


Tahsin "T" Choudhury, DO
Michigan Medicine


Diving into the ever-demanding world of a resident physician specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan, one gets easily wrapped up in the rapid pace and pressures it brings. However, over this demanding journey, I have come to appreciate the transformative power of gratitude. Rather than being a sporadic note of thanks, it forms a beautiful web, intertwining each moment of our journey into a stunning, mosaic narrative of appreciation.

Every dawn is a welcome respite for me as I hustle to prepare breakfast for my daughter amidst the serene sunrise painting the Ann Arbor skies. These peaceful moments are a treasure that I mentally and silently express my gratitude to. I view every patient progressing, every encouraging word from a colleague, and each delightful smile from my daughter as invaluable presents, deserving of heartfelt acknowledgment.

The practice of gratitude becomes particularly consequential during a residency. The intricate challenges and steep curve of learning in PM&R at times might cause one to feel burnt out. Nevertheless, I've found that gratitude is a potent remedy. It invariably reframes our focus from overwhelming hurdles to the elements in our life's tableau that truly enhance us, thus providing an irreplaceably empowering perspective shift.

A recent episode where one of my patients expressed her heartfelt thanks after an intense physiotherapy session furthered my faith in the power of earnest appreciation. Her grateful words were teeming with emotion and warmth, providing a rejuvenating fuel for numerous such strenuous sessions.

On arriving home, my daughter’s joyous smiles lift my spirits, washing over me with a wave of gratitude. Likewise, the comforting quotes scattered around my living space serve as a source of motivation on rough days. Moreover, modern technology that efficiently channels my paperwork and affords me more time for direct patient care also stirs within me a heartful acknowledgment of gratitude.

Appreciation extends as well to my commendable colleagues, like Dr. Richardson - an incredibly busy attending physician who continually imparts clinical reasoning with a generous dose of patience, despite my unavoidable sleepless bouts as a 4th-year resident and new father. It's his essence of mentorship and bonds of companionship that infuse an alluring depth into our revered profession.

The miraculous recovery trajectory of my patients forms a significant highlight during my residency. As an aspiring spinal cord injury fellow, I see the irreversible courage displayed by our patients as an inexhaustible source of inspiration and thankful affirmation for my selected specialty.

Yet, gratitude is not merely for external gratification. It involves an intrapersonal acknowledgment. To myself, I extend gratitude for the relentless grit, fervor, and daring spirit within my being that persistently propels me in this formidable field. Embarking on this journey replenishes my life with invaluable experiences of growth, self-recognition, and a renewed sense of purpose that fuels my unwavering commitment.

A noteworthy experience that sent waves of pure joy through me was the wheelchair games. Watching veterans with spinal cord injuries or limb amputations towering over their disabilities, wholeheartedly celebrating life, was a sight to behold.

In the field of medicine, our quest is not solely about disease identification and healing. It extends to a spectrum of human experiences: hope, understanding, unwavering resilience, and a copious measure of gratitude. In my roles as a resident physician, a husband, and father in Ann Arbor, I've realized the therapeutic power of gratitude. Each moment and each day add up to a treasure trove of gifts worth cherishing.