Our Identity Puzzle


Work can be rewarding and bring meaning, but should not define us...

The puzzle pieces don't define us



Over the years I have come to the following revelation: Our careers do not define us. They are just a piece of our identity puzzle that is frequently magnified by society. They become superficial/small talk conversation starters at social gatherings used to break the ice.

We become obsessed and over zealous with our work to the extent that it becomes a mistress masquerading as success. The sobering reality is that no matter how industrious we are, work does not care. In the end, our tombstones will not list our accolades or the amount of extra time we spent in the office documenting in the electronic health record.

May we find meaning in our life that adds to our growth and development as human beings. May this poem inspire some food for thought.

Toiling obsession

Self-image misunderstood

Discard the facade

Dr Clark is an outpatient psychiatrist at Prisma Health-Upstate and clinical associate professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville. He served on the American Psychiatric Association’s Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry, and he currently serves as the Diversity and Inclusion section editor and advisory board member for Psychiatric TimesTM.

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