There’s a lot to love about being a physician. The profession provides prestige, interesting work, handsome financial rewards and the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of patients.
It can also be stressful.
According to a 2016 article published by TIME, physicians often feel emotionally exhausted as a result of their work and rank among the top of the list of professionals most likely to experience burnout.
The reasons for burnout vary, but a Mayo Clinic study concluded that many doctors feel subjugated and stifled by the changing face of the doctor-patient relationship. That is to say that physicians are seeing a lot less of their patients’ faces and more of their computer screens.
The study concludes that the increase in busywork tied to managing and maintaining electronic medical records is a key reason physicians burnout. In addition, changes to the billing and documentation are forcing physicians to spend less time in the exam room and more time on administrative tasks.
That’s not what most physicians thought they’d be doing when they invested 12 or more years to learning their profession. It also leaves many wondering how they can live a better life.
The good news is that people care about physicians, who are absolutely essential to the country’s quality of life. That’s why some really smart people working to figure out how to live a better life.
Here’s a look at some of the answers they’ve come up with:
But they should.
The first step towards figuring out how to live a better life is to be honest about how you’re currently feeling. According to the Mayo Clinic study, which was conducted over three years and included nearly 7,000 physicians, 54 percent of those surveyed had at least one symptom of burnout.
Those who acknowledged their symptoms were more likely to seek help.
But, the programs are there for a reason: they work.
Resist the urge to normalize and rationalize the stress (and distress) you feel. Use the resources available to you to take action to find peace within yourself and create positive change in your work environment.
There is a movement afoot to create cultures of well-being, and it’s being led by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Make the most of the momentum to change the work culture and you’ll be on your way to figuring out how to live a better life.
The wellness wheel refers to the six types of wellness: physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, social and occupational. The article’s authors suggest that physicians spend time every day reflecting on these six areas and whether or not each is “healthy.” If you find that your wellness wheel is out of balance, you have the power to address the roots of the problems.
At Elliot Health System, we pride ourselves on our ability to help providers maintain a healthy work-life balance. If that is something you would like to achieve, apply today.
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