According to Medscape,
more than half of U.S. doctors are burned out. Changing job requirements and performance standards are fueling feelings of being overwhelmed, stress and even apathy towards patients.
Here’s 9 ways for doctors to help stay motivated:
- Focus on the bigger picture; you’re taking care of people! Sure, the days (and/or nights) are long, patients aren’t always appreciative and depending on your schedule, you’re probably not sleeping enough. But when it comes down to it, you help people feel better.
- Use your vacation time – regularly. Nothing can shake stress and irritability like getting out of the office. Or…
- …Take a sabbatical. Taking a break to pursue another aspect of medicine outside your profession can be instrumental in helping the overworked physician get energized.
- Join a support group. You’re not alone, and sometimes you just need to “get it out.” Sharing your feelings with fellow doctors can help feelings of isolation, stress, and depression.
- Talk to a career coach or your boss. Getting professional advice and laying out a career path often times increases motivation. Lack of doctor motivation is a real thing; chances are your boss has had similar feelings.
- Go part-time. Or ¾ time. Or any time less than what you’re doing! Backing off a bit to give time to other things in your personal life just may be a solution to keep the fire burning.
- Exercise. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” Burning off steam through exercise not only sharpens the mind, it also takes the edge off workplace stress. Worried about a patient after-hours? Questioning a decision from last week? Get active, so your mind isn’t the only thing running.
- Keep learning! Take continuing education courses to sharpen up your skills and learn new approaches. It will give a new dimension to your career and may motivate you.
- Get involved with policy at your institution. Helping dictate procedures, participating in boards or panels, giving physician input to the decision-makers can be empowering. Being a voice for your fellow doctors is a great way to stay motivated and vested in your career.
Every day, someone comes to you not feeling well-and you contribute to their well-being. There is nothing more gratifying and motivating. Remember that!
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The opinions expressed here by AmVenture.com columnists are their own, not those of AmVenture.com.