Health & Lifestyle
About This Project


I practice yoga religiously— you would think that balance is a lifestyle, that inner peace is a constant state of mind.
But balance is something I have always struggled with.

I’ve always been the student who enrolled in the absolute max number of classes, juggled too many extra curricular, and simultaneously needed a thriving social life. I started doing yoga in college in order to learn balance.

As a medical student, the need for balance became ever more pressing. I depended more and more on yoga to slow down my racing thoughts, to clear my cluttered mind of self-doubt, and most importantly, to alleviate the unhealthy need to be productive all the time. Yoga brings me peace— a peaceful acceptance of myself and my pace in life. In fact, the only balanced part of my life is the time I spend on my yoga mat. It is a necessary habit.

Being a medical student is stressful. Being a surgeon will be stressful. But there’s absolutely nothing else I would rather do— I signed up for this craziness of difficult work-life balance.

No matter what your passion is, no matter how busy or stressed you are, please make time for yourself. It is so crucial to find your own oasis. Your future self and patients will thank you for it.

Set your goals high. Live deeply. But remember to recharge and re-calibrate.

#withoutthewhitecoat I am a human pretzel.”

Vivian Lee
MD, MS3 l Class of 2023
Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine