Recently I had a conversation with a primary care physician who started her private practice a couple of years ago. She was telling me about the long nights in the office, the worries about financial responsibilities, and the challenges she experienced with a couple of staff members. She asked me how she could keep her sanity and stay away from burnout. My advice to her was simple – since you call the shots, play by new rules.
Whether you’re running your own practice, transition into a new position, or are employed by a hospital / medical group already, you have a choice about how you work. You can make your self-care a priority and be more productive and effective, or you can continue to believe that a seventy-hour work week and a frenetic pace will bring you more success, recognition and better outcomes.
There are many goals that drive a healthcare organization: the primary goal of any business, any healthcare organization is to make money. Without money, excellent patient care isn’t feasible. That’s just a basic fact.
In order to provide good outcomes and keep physicians employed, the organization needs to increase its bottom line or at least break even on a consistent basis. That’s why most healthcare groups get worried when I talk about the importance of work/life balance or physicians request more support around balance. They make the mistake of believing that supporting self-care strategies for physicians will lead to selfishness, less productivity and reduced work hours. This may be true for some people, but experience has shown me that the best and most dedicated physicians always end up providing better patient care and producing better outcomes.
In my next blog I will share with you some suggestions that you can incorporate in your daily routine that will provide you more balance, energy and higher productivity.