Finding Myself Beyond the Scrubs

by Dr. Vicky Prokopiou

Three years ago, I was entrenched in a life that many health professionals know all too well. My identity seemed wholly wrapped in my job – a world of scrubs, relentless hours, and an unending commitment to patient care. I was lauded for my resilience, yet I couldn’t help but wonder if there was more to my existence than my medical persona.

Decades of my life were spent within the confines of my business, serving the needs of others. In dedicating myself to the wellbeing of others, I began to question whether I had neglected my own journey. Was my professional title the sum total of my identity?

My dedication came at a high personal cost. My body was giving me signs I ignored. I missed family gatherings, personal milestones, and even relocated to rural areas for work. Yet, behind my professional smile, there was a storm of inner turmoil. Nights became a theatre of restless contemplation, haunted by the thought of my professional life overshadowing my personal existence.

Despite the external admiration, a sense of unfulfilment gnawed at me. My physical and emotional wellbeing had been sidelined, lost in the shuffle of clinical practice. Life outside my business started to feel like a distant, unattainable dream.

But I wasn’t alone in this struggle. Many of my colleagues echoed these sentiments. We all understood the sacrifices, the deferred dreams, and personal desires that were put on hold in our relentless pursuit of excellence. Yet, these were stark reminders of what we had sacrificed at the altar of our careers. Perhaps you’re reading this and it resonates. Perhaps it’s your story too.

The world often sees us only through the lens of our professional roles, forgetting that we harbour aspirations that transcend our job titles. In my case, being a business owner and clinician had consumed me to the point where my other passions had dimmed.

My wake-up call came in a profoundly personal moment – I was 11 weeks pregnant with my daughter. It was then that the full weight of my situation hit me. I had been neglecting my own needs, juggling IVF and my professional responsibilities in a relentless cycle of work, with barely any respite for sleep.

Internally, I was crumbling, a stark contrast to the composed exterior I presented to the world. My eyes, if one looked closely, betrayed the truth that my smile worked so hard to hide.

This realisation sparked a deep desire for change. I yearned to rediscover who I was beyond my career. It was the beginning of a transformative journey to align my professional ambitions with my personal desires. I wanted to be a better mother, a more present partner, a more fulfilled individual.

In this process of self-re-evaluation, I delved into my identity that had been so closely tied to my career. Going back to my roots, I embraced a journey of deep self-understanding. Having already transitioned from pharmacy to dentistry and stepping into motherhood, my perspective on life underwent a radical shift.

Would I change things if I had the chance? Absolutely. And that’s why I am here for you.

If you’re seeking a similar transformation, if you’re yearning to find balance and fulfilment beyond your professional life, I am here to guide you. Reach out to me at m.me/dr.vicky.prokopiou or simply email ‘ELEMENT’ to let me know you’re ready for change.

Yours in health and harmony,
Dr Vicky 👑

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