work-life balance


How to Build and Maintain a Winning Hospital Community

Hospital Community

It doesn’t matter if you are considered to be a large healthcare system, a community hospital or a solo practitioner. What really matters is what sort of things attract and keeps healthcare talent happy. And, when it comes to career happiness, healthcare professionals want to work in winning hospital communities. 

Here’s a look at nine of the most important characteristics of a great hospital community, according to the the job board,

1) Positive values. All great organizations have a mission statement that clearly outlines goals, demonstrates an unwavering commitment to quality and reflects a positive spirit. 

A positive mission statement reflects a company’s values, which, over time, inform every action and permeate every action. 

2) Relaxed atmosphere. Healthcare is a serious business, but that doesn’t mean the people charged with delivering it can’t look forward to coming to work, feel appreciated once they get there and treat one another with respect throughout the course of their shifts. 

As a 2013 story in The New York Times pointed out, people who work in a relaxed atmosphere perform better. 

3) A shared commitment to excellence. Excellence surrounds itself with excellence. A rising tide lifts all boats. Winning is more fun. These cliches might be a bit tired, but they are also true. When a hospital commits to excellence and accepts nothing less, everyone performs better, has more fun and the hospital community thrives. 

4) Communication. It has been said that there are no secrets to success. And, while there are a lot of ways to interpret the axiom, it’s probably most accurate to infer that organizations that succeed share information in open, authentic and consistent ways. They don’t keep secrets and they actually try to over-communicate. 

5) Empowerment. Employees who feel empowered help build a winning hospital community. The are more likely to make smart decisions and act autonomously, but with respect for the organization’s values when necessary. They are also more likely to go the extra mile, help their colleagues and put the organization’s best interests before their own. 

6) An appreciation for humor. Employees who laugh are less stressed, more productive, willing to be creative and collaborate and also more analytic–if you believe an article published in the Harvard Business Review that quotes researchers out of Wharton, MIT and the London Business School. 

7) Compassion. Hospitals that are committed to treating their employees with the same level of compassion they expect their employees to show patients perform better. It’s as simple as that. Employees–whether physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners or physician assistants–are more likely to go above and beyond for organizations that treat them with respect and compassion. 

8) Recognition. To those who do not work in healthcare every day, working in a hospital seems to come with unlimited rewards. Babies are born, broken bones are healed, cancer is treated. But for physicians, nurses and others, it is still a job–an important job, but still a job. And, everyone who does any job wants to be recognized for exceptional performance. The truly healthy hospital community is the one in which recognition is given to those who do great work

9) Balance. Work-life balance is a big topic of conversation in healthcare. With the shortage of physicians, nurses, physician assistants and other hospital employees, everyone seems to be asked to do more. Mandatory overtime, extra shifts and short staffing take their toll on hospital employees. That’s why the hospitals that truly have winning cultures take care to ensure a healthy work-life balance. 

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3 Physician Tools that Improve Your Quality of Life

Physician Tools that Improve Your Quality of Life

First, do no harm. 

It’s the oath by which you swear to abide. But, what about when it comes to taking care of yourself? 

Physicians as a whole are notoriously bad at taking time for themselves. They’ll work double shifts, walk rounds until blisters form and legs fail, and give everything they have to every patient … and then remember that they forgot to eat lunch. 

But, abiding by the Hippocratic Oath should also apply to self care, and self care is at least partially about making sure you’re enjoying a high quality of life. 

Here’s a look at three newish physician tools designed to help you improve your quality of life–both in and out of the healthcare setting:


It’s a virtual doctors lounge, therapy couch and professional conference all wrapped up under one URL. It’s SERMO, the top social network for physicians in the United States and around the world. 

Just what you need right? Another social media platform where people with no actual knowledge about a topic spout off with ill-informed opinions?

Well that’s not SERMO.

SERMO has 600,000 verified and credentialed members, so you’ll only be interacting with other doctors. And, you’ll get to discuss whatever you want, ask any questions you need to or commiserate around any topic–because all of the conversations on SERMO are confidential. 

It really is one of the great physician tools for finding balance, because it lets you blow off some steam, ask sensitive questions, seek counsel on a difficult case or simply get something off your chest. 

Learn more about SERMO

2) Motiv

Finally, a fitness-tracking device you’ll actually want to wear. 

Sure, Fitbits and Apple Watches are fantastic tools, but they can be a bit bulky and cumbersome–especially for physicians. 

Now there is Motiv, a ring-sized activity tracker, heart rate monitor and sleep sensor that simply slips onto your finger and delivers form, fit and function without being obtrusive. 

It’s made from ultralight titanium, so it’s durable. It’s waterproof. It’s equipped with a battery that lasts up to five days. And, it comes in slate gray or rose gold.

But, most importantly, the Motiv measures your active minutes, active heart rate, calories burned, distance you’ve walked, sleep duration and resting heart rate. It’s one of the physician tools that’s small enough not to be noticeable, but powerful enough to have a big impact on your overall health and wellness. 

Learn more about Motiv

3) Nuheara IQbuds

The problem with most truly wireless ear buds is that they don’t deliver exceptional sound quality. Sure, you may be free from the cords that are always snagging buttons, briefcases and purse straps. But, what good is that if you can’t hear what you want to hear? 

Introducing: Nuheara IQbuds. 

These wireless ear buds have been making big noise in the industry over the past few months, racking up award after award at conference after conference. 

Not only do they deliver high quality high fidelity sound, but they also allow you to amplify speech, selectively tune out the world around you thanks to super-intelligent noise cancellation technology and blend the best of your digital music with the sounds around you to make sure you have absolute situational awareness. 

And, they do it all without those pesky cords. 

Nuheara IQbuds are one of the rare physician tools that can improve the quality of your life both in and out of the office. 

Learn more about them

Do no harm … to yourself

Taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of patients. Use these tools to make sure you’re at your best.  

*Elliot Health System does not endorse specific technology highlighted in blogs – all references are for the purpose of awareness of new medical technology only.

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10 Top Reasons for Physicians to Move to Manchester, NH

Manchester New Hampshire

Manchester is northern New England’s hidden gem. As the largest city in New Hampshire, it offers world-class dining, skiing, arts, and culture. From its settlement in 1722, New Hampshire’s Queen City has gone from a renowned mill town to one of the nation’s best and most affordable metropolises.

1. Central Location

One of the main reasons to move to Manchester is its central location within New Hampshire and northern New England. You can easily road trip to the neighboring states of Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont, and Boston is less than an hour’s drive away.

2. Doorway to Nature

Manchester is also central to New England’s natural attractions, including nearby Uncanoonuc Mountains, the more distant White Mountains, and Atlantic seacoast. The city itself contains around 900 acres of beaches, pools, playgrounds, and other park lands, including sailing and running at popular Lake Massabesic.

3. Fun in the Snow

With around 60 inches of annual snowfall, the best approach to winter in south-central New Hampshire is to enjoy the white stuff. Follow locals to McIntyre Ski Area for skiing and snowboarding. For a winter getaway, head to the White Mountains, and enjoy some of the nation’s best skiing, tubing, hiking, and other activity areas.

4. Accessible Transportation

Interstates 93, 293, and the F.E. Everett Turnpike make it easy to get around – both in the city and around the region. The city’s Transit Authority provides bus service, and major airlines run through Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. A commuter rail is even expected in the near future.

5. Arts for All

The city’s arts scene is on the rise, as shown on the trolley-based Open Doors Manchester tour. The world-class Currier Art Museum cannot be missed, including New England’s only public Frank Lloyd Wright House. Alternatively, head out on your own, and sample the city’s poetry at Slam Free or Die.

6. Fantastic Food

Head to the local Farmers Market to experience fresh meat, produce, and baked goods from June through October. Even during the colder months, this city offers a surprising range of cuisines, including some of the best Nepalese, Mexican, and Brazilian food in New England.

7. Booming Breweries

The Granite State has a growing reputation for craft brewing, and Manchester is home to some of New England’s best breweries and pubs. For instance, Strange Brew Tavern has received acclaim from Esquire Magazine and others for its 100 plus draft beers and delicious pub grub.

8. Educational Opportunities

Each year, the 11 academic institutions in Manchester bring in around 8,000 students. They can choose between Granite State College, Southern New Hampshire University, or New Hampshire Institute of Art, among others. Meanwhile, residents enjoy the many events and opportunities that these schools bring to the city.

9. A Healthcare Capital

Opportunities for healthcare professionals abound in Manchester. In particular, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that Central New Hampshire has a high concentration of healthcare jobs and some of the highest wages in the country.

10. High Quality of Life

Manchester has consistently ranked among the USA’s top places to live. This is due to low crime rates, strong transportation, and growing technologically-oriented economy. The city is also one of fastest-growing and most affordable places to live, according to CNN Money.

Manchester provides all the benefits of living in the big city with the charms of a small town. From vacations at the beach to getaways in the mountains, you can experience the best that New England has to offer in this growing metropolis.

Would you like a provider career in Manchester? Consider Elliot Health System.

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Staycation Ideas for New Hampshire Physicians

Staycation Portsmouth New Hampshire

Ah, the vacation. 

No work. No stress. And no worries. 

If you’re like most physicians, you can’t wait to get away from the hospital or clinic a few times a year. Perhaps you’ve escaped to the islands or traveled across the pond to explore Europe. Maybe you’ve dropped in on Disney World.

This year, it might be time to stay close to home.

New Hampshire offers an array of interesting, entertaining and relaxing staycation options. Here’s a look at a week’s worth of fabulous staycation ideas for New Hampshire physicians:

1) Monday: Head for the Hills

No matter the season, the White Mountains offer something for everyone. There’s shopping in the summer, scenic drives in the fall, skiing in the winter and outdoor dining in the spring. 

Whether you’re into wildlife, water or a little fine dining, you can’t go wrong with a quick day trip to the hills. The White Mountain National Forest is less than a three-hour drive from Manchester, making it the perfect Monday getaway for your staycation. 

You’ll love exploring the historic White Mountains, the areas quaint villages and opportunities to see why people from all over the East Coast make annual visits to the region. 

2) Tuesday: Love the Lake

When a well-respected lifestyle magazine recognizes a nearby lake as one of the “prettiest lakes in New England,” you’d be remiss not to seriously consider it among your staycation ideas. 

So why not take a drive over to Wellington State Park in Bristol and spend some time enjoying the local paradise that is Newfound Lake? 

You’ll love the scenic views of the hemlock-covered mountains, the crystal-clear water and the largest freshwater swimming beach the state park system has to offer. 

Learn more about Newfound Lake here

3) Wednesday: Get Serious About Having Some Fun

Now that you’ve enjoyed the serenity of the White Mountains and the beauty of New England’s most beautiful lake, it’s time to let loose and get serious about having some fun — especially if you have kids. 

Water Country over in Portsmouth has been entertaining New Hampshire families for three decades with its rides, slides, waves, rivers and pools. With 26 exciting acres of attractions, it’s the perfect way to spend a day burning off some energy during your summer staycation. 

4) Thursday: Appreciate Art

By now you’re probably looking for something a little more refined and relaxing. On Thursday, make plans to visit the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester. 

It boasts a collection of 13,000 American and European works of art in nearly every medium, from modern to decorative to contemporary. It also offers a full range of studio classes so you can do more than simply appreciate art–you can create it. 

5) Friday: Eat Your Day Away

One of the best kept secrets about New Hampshire is that it’s an awesome place for foodies–and it’s small enough that you can eat your way through the state in a single day. 

Start with breakfast at the Friendly Toast in Portsmouth, which has been ranked as the best breakfast spot in New Hampshire. Then make your way over to Skinny’s Pizzeria in Manchester for a little lunch. Then finish your day by enjoying dinner at The Common Man in Claremont, where you’ll feel like you are a part of history in an old mill located along the Sugar River. 

Of course, there are many more great dining options in New Hampshire, so your Friday staycation ideas shouldn’t be limited to this list. 

Saturday and Sunday: Get Out and About

There’s always something exciting happening in New Hampshire! Get out and enjoy the events!

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How to Maintain a Healthy Diet as a Physician

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Physicians don’t get sick. 

That’s the common refrain propagated by healthcare professionals across the country, according to a 2012 article published in the British Columbia Medical Journal that examined the lifestyle and preventive health behaviors among physicians.

And, not only are physicians supposed to be healthier than their patients, they’re also more independent, competitive and high achieving, according to the article’s author.

Any attention physicians pay to their own needs can only be viewed as signs of weakness. 

Of course the article’s authors found that physicians are actually just like everyone else. They neglect their own health, work too much, sleep too little, don’t eat as well as they should and become ill. 

That’s the bad news. 

The good news is that the profession is starting to pay attention to the needs of physicians beyond the exam room, doing away with the stigma attached to programs designed to help physicians deal with physicians’ physical, mental and emotional challenges. 

But physicians still have to be willing to step up and take care of themselves by exercising, sleeping, caring for themselves and eating right. While it can be difficult to find time to work out and sleep, it’s relatively easy to maintain a healthy diet.  

Here’s a look at three easy ways to maintain a healthy diet while succeeding in the practice of medicine:

1) Grow your own greens

There’s something to be said for growing your own vegetables. The benefits are both intangible and tangible, according to an article published in the Harvard Health Letter.  

When you grow your own food, you’re more likely to eat more vegetables, avoid fertilizers and pesticides (or at least decide which come in contact with your food) and reap the benefits of freshly picked produce, which contain more nutrients than store-bought vegetables. 

It’s never too soon to start planning your garden–and you can start planting seeds indoors during the winter months before transplanting them to your garden after the last frost of the spring. 

2) Outsource your salads

Sometimes growing your own greens simply isn’t plausible. Sometimes you need to outsource the production of your vegetables to someone who grows them locally, cares about quality and makes them available almost as soon as they are harvested.

For these moments, there is the Manchester Farmers Market.

The market draws farmers from throughout New Hampshire, who sell locally grown produce, meat and certified organic products. If you don’t have time to care for your own garden, consider stopping by the Manchester Farmers Market from 3 to 6:30 p.m. every Thursday in June, July, August, September and October.

It’s a great way to get the benefits of garden-grown vegetables without having to do the work yourself.  

3) Update your Rolodex

Your Rolodex can either help or hurt you. It can either be the savior of svelte or the reason you need to invest in new clothing. 

Don’t let it become the bane of your ability to maintain a healthy diet. 

Instead of relying on the same old restaurants that deliver the same old fried food every day, update your Rolodex with restaurants that specialize in healthy options. 

New Hampshire Magazine has published a list of the “healthiest restaurants in Manchester,” and it’s well worth checking out. You’ll find restaurants as committed to the community’s health as you are–and their menus are chock full of healthy options, void of high calories and cholesterol but rich with flavor. 

Eschewing the typical “eat-and-treat” options that you’ve been fueling up on in favor of healthier options will go a long way towards helping you maintain a healthy diet. 

Elliot Health System is passionate about helping providers with their work-life balance. Would you like to join us?

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Stay Fit! Quick Workouts for the Busy Physician

Plank Exercise

Two hours and 30 minutes a week.

That’s the amount of moderate intensity physical activity that delivers the most health benefits, according to the “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans” published by the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. 

Good luck committing 150 minutes a week to working out–especially when you’re a busy physician who is working up to 80 hours a week, trying to find time for your family and also attempting to sleep once in a while. 

How is a busy physician, with so little time and so much riding on the profession, supposed to find time to exercise? By breaking down their workouts into easily digestible, 15-minute bites of daily exercise that include these seven easy and efficient moves: 

1) Lateral and Forward Neck Flexion

The key to making sure your in-the-office workout is effective is to spend a little time on each area of the body–from top to bottom. 

Start by taking a seat and then flexing your neck to the left and then to the right. Once you’ve finished 10 lateral reps, do the same thing forward and backwards 10 times to increase neck strength and flexibility. 

2) Shoulder Rolls

Since you are already sitting down, you might as well do some seated shoulder rolls to take care of stress and tension while improving circulation to the joints. Roll them forward 10 times and backwards 10 times. 

3) Chair Dips

Now that your shoulders are warmed up, its time to work the triceps by performing some chair dips. Start by standing over the edge of your chair, body leaning forward, knees flexed. Place your hands on the armrests and slowly lower your body downward into a sitting position.

Put as much weight as you can handle on your triceps for two sets of 10 repetitions in order to tighten up the back of your upper arms. 

4) Isometric Squeezes and Biceps Curls

After you’ve tightened the triceps, move on to the biceps. Start by doing some isometric bicep contractions, which will work to tone and tighten your upper arms. Then grab a book, bottle of water or anything else that’s easy to hold onto and curl them. Do two sets of 10 on each arm to tighten and build your biceps. 

5) Plank

Planking strengthens your core, improves posture and balance, reduces back pain and makes you more flexible.   

And you can easily plan in your office without dropping down onto the floor. Here’s a look at four office-friendly plank poses, courtesy of, that every busy physician can do throughout the day or incorporate into their lunch breaks. 

6) Inner- and Outer-Thigh Contractions

As a physician, you probably spend a good part of your day on your feet. Stronger, leaner legs allow you to keep going longer. Luckily, you can strengthen and tone your thighs without actually lifting any weights or going for a long run or ride. 

Contract your thigh muscles for five seconds at a time, 15 times in a row. Work your way around your thighs throughout the day. Nobody but you will know that you’re working out!

7) Calf Raises

Every now and then, stop where you’re standing, square your back and shoulders, point your toes forward and lift your heels off the ground by contracting your calves. 

Do two sets of 15 several times a day to strengthen and tone your calf muscles and improve lower extremity circulation. 

These seven exercises might not replace going to the gym, but they are an easy way for a busy physician to work 150 minutes of exercise into the work week. 

*Please note that this blog does not endorse specific exercise regimens or the companies that promote them. Exercise is an individual choice to be made carefully based on your own personal goals, health etc.

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How to Avoid Physician Burnout with a Better Work-Life Balance

Avoid Physician Burnout

The stress involved with being a physician can take a toll on physical and emotional health. When your workday involves keeping people alive, multi-tasking and being available for emergencies, the potential for physician burnout is high. And, of course there are also the added demands that family and friends place on you. You want to spend quality time with your family and form meaningful bonds within your community, but these things take time, which is in limited supply in a physician’s schedule.

Achieving a better work-life balance and avoiding physician burnout is possible if you work in a supportive work environment like the Elliot Health System. Here are some ways to avoid physician burnout with a better work-life balance.

Arrange Time to Tend to Personal Needs

Caring physicians spend much of their time meeting the needs of patients’ and staff needs. It’s easy to forget that you need to take care of yourself first when you spend most of your day caring for other people. Within the Elliot Health System, physicians are encouraged to take care of themselves so that they can perform their jobs at optimal levels.

It’s very important that you arrange time to tend to your personal needs. Avoid skipping lunches and other meals, and instead plan to step away from the sometimes high-intensity environment of the hospital or medical facility during breaks. On such breaks, consider taking a brisk walk outside and enjoy the beautiful changing seasons of New England weather, eating your lunch on a park bench instead of inside or even participating in a bit of midday exercise at the TaeKwonDo Center (where Elliot Health System physicians enjoy complimentary access). It is also very important to keep up with your personal health needs, including regular checkups and dental visits.

Set Boundaries

One of the most common ways that physicians feel stress is when they are made to feel that they should be doing something other than what they are doing, or to be someplace else. When you are engaged in an activity, whether it’s examining a patient, filling out a chart, or splashing with your kids at Six Flags New England, be present. Know that you are where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to be doing.

The way to achieve this presence is to set boundaries. Although you need to be available during on-call hours, you shouldn’t feel you can’t be fully present with your family when you’re not officially on-call. Instruct staff as to your off-duty hours so they understand your boundaries. The same thing must be done with your family. Of course, you want to be informed of family emergencies or urgent situations, but you also want to be able to concentrate on work while you’re on duty. Setting boundaries with those you work and interact with will help you to avoid being pulled in opposite directions at inappropriate times.

Nourish Yourself

No one can maintain the busy lifestyle of a physician and have a healthy work-life balance without proper nutrition. At the Elliot Heath System, physicians have access to a cafeteria with a full menu at discounted prices. In addition, nutrition counseling is available for physicians who may want guidance for optimal nutrition and health.

It can be far too easy to eat out of vending machines, skip meals or constantly eat on the run. But nourishment is the cornerstone to avoiding physician burnout. When your body feels nourished, your mental capacity will be at its peak, and you’ll be able to conquer the challenges that work and family bring.

These tips for avoiding physician burnout and achieving a better work-life balance will help you to enjoy a long and fruitful physician career. 

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