Let’s continue with our top-ten list to help prevent physician burnout in part- two.
6) Remember Why
You wouldn’t make such a herculean effort to become a physician if you didn’t know deep down why. Dr. Drummond wrote your connection to why you became a physician, “varies day-by-day, however, it is a source of immense power and endurance when the connection is clear.” It’s all too easy to get bogged down by the details of the day. Taking a step back to remember the big picture can be the extra boost you need to get through the day.
7) Take Control
Many things are out of your hands, from time constraints to patient outcomes, asserting control over such a chaotic atmosphere is no easy feat. Just as with your personal life, setting boundaries such and standing orders to staff can serve to reduce micromanaging and aid in prioritization. Also, don’t forget one of the few things you can control is your attitude. This goes double for your EMR. Dr. Drummond again has some great suggestions for making the most of your time.
8) Command Your Schedule
Many of us would be lost without our schedule to aid us. Without it, many of us wouldn’t be able to function. Dr. Drummond had another great suggestion to take control which seems remarkably simple yet profound. He calls it adding a life schedule to your calendar. This involves adding personal and family time on your calendar to help remind you of important family events and create a routine. The structure of a routine be a great stress reducer, and your relationships outside of work will be thank you for it.
A valuable skill often overlooked during medical school is invaluable to saving time a reducing stress. Taking the time to learn how to be an effective leader through a mentor, being self-taught, or taking formal training can go a long way. Being an effective leader can be counter-intuitive in comparison to the lone wolf style of thinking throughout medical school and residency. When in practice, medicine is really more of a team effort and being an effective leader an invaluable skill that is well worth the effort.
10) Work Environment
This last item you may have the least control over. If you do have some influence in your work environment here are some things to consider. When it comes to scheduling, offering flexible or part-time work schedules is becoming more common. Along with hiring floating staff members to cover unexpected circumstances is helpful in reducing workloads across the team and keeping everyone happy. Locum tenens assignments are ideal for these situations.
As with any good advice, the key is to find something that you haven’t tried and see if it works for you. There is hope out there that things will get better. While many things are out of our control, there are still things within our control.
Let us know if this was helpful in the comments or share with your friends who may find this helpful.