I’ve been posting them for about a month now, so it’s probably time for me to do some explaining about #SurgPostIts. Where did they come from? What are they? And, for the curious, why?!?

For several years I have had a life-list goal of post-it note “bombing” somewhere in my travels. The idea behind post-it bombing is to plaster a limited area with positive post-it note messages; my intention was to leave inspirational messages in my wake. But where?

Me, hard at work on the Post-Its during our Council meeting.
Me, hard at work on the Post-Its during our Council meeting.

The week before October’s Association of Women Surgeon’s meeting I realized that I had a prime opportunity to post-it bomb the entire MEETING- it’s a relatively small meeting, usually with about 150 in attendance, so it was a manageable idea.   It would mean getting some mini-post-it notes and (legibly) writing messages on them then leaving the all over the conference room. We all know that I love a challenge, even a small one, so the plan was made.


Choose Joy!
Chase Joy!

Saturday morning as the meeting got started, I wandered the room and left post-its at each place that was set. None of them were anything that I thought was a huge deal on their own, but what struck me the most was the number of people who told me later (when they figured the whole thing out) that the message I randomly left in their place was exactly what they needed in that moment. A resident who promptly attached it to her phone picked up this note. I was grateful that she “got it” because I do remember how hard it can be to remember your joy when you’re in the challenges of training.

You can do hard things
You can do hard things

This note was apparently perfectly timed for an attending surgeon who just moved across the country and is settling into a new academic position. I was flattered when she Tweeted that it would be the first thing to go up in her new office- and knowing her as I do, she can (and will) do hard things, and will do them gracefully.

Based upon the reactions to the post-its on that day, I started a year-long project on Twitter with #SurgPostIts. Every morning at 7 am I post a positive message (confession: yes, I am scheduling them so I don’t mess up). On Saturdays I assign “#homework” as part of the #SurgPostIts project to help keep us all grounded in the craziness of our lives. And at the behest of a good friend who is an anesthesiologist, I have now started to include the hashtag #ORPostIts. Joy shouldn’t be confined to one group, right?

I hope you’ll enjoy the #SurgPostIts, and that they will serve you on a day when you need it the most. It’s my small part in helping us all remember that we have everything we need- we just need to remember to access it.