As fellow Doctors, there is a lot that we have in common.
We are all highly driven and ambitious and want to provide the best possible care to our patients.
We also have similar needs and wants to everybody else.
- To work in a safe environment
- A work-life balance
- Spend time with our loved ones
- Be present for our children
Unfortunately, the way the healthcare system is, meeting those needs is near impossible.
It's not surprising that so many physicians are suffering from burnout.
Physician burnout is so common that many are claiming it to be a global crisis.
The pandemic and its aftermath have significantly added to this crisis.
But the good news is, if you are at risk or suffering from burnout, there are ways to identify it early and take steps to minimize it and recover faster.
What are the symptoms of Physician Burnout?
A survey conducted in 2020 showed that 44% of doctors were suffering from depression, anxiety, stress, or burnout.
If you have any of those symptoms, please do not delay in looking for alternative ways to practice or supplement your income so that you can reduce your hours.
As a doctor of any specialty, you need to look after yourself first. Even more so, if you are a parent, your children need the best version of you!
I know it is hard to take time out for yourself because you feel you are letting down your patients.
But it is crucial for the long term.
A work-life balance is possible, and I set up The IME Academy® to help you achieve that.
You don't have to work in a way that damages your health or wellbeing.
It's time to take action and start creating the change that we want to see.
If you have any of the following symptoms:
Lack of energy and effectiveness
Cynicism or detachment
Frustration and irritability
Lower work standards
Changes in behavior
You may be suffering from or close to hitting burnout.
And, as you can see from the symptoms above, burnout will have a detrimental effect on your ability to care for your patients.
Your standards will slip, and your overall performance will drop.
You must recognize physician burnout as something that needs to be treated and take some time out for yourself.
Moving forward, you must look into different solutions and options to how to work to help yourself recover from burnout and achieve your career goals.
What causes Physician Burnout?
A study by the Mayo Clinic states that physicians are at a higher risk of burnout.
And for those of you running your practices, that risk is higher as you deal with the stress of being a physician plus the stressors that come with running a business.
The causes of burnout are:
1. Too many hours
Whilst it may seem normal to you to work 60+ hours per week, it isn't ideal. The more hours you work, particularly when you do 70+, the higher your chances of burning out.
2. Too much admin
We chose to be doctors so that we could treat patients. Yet, we seem to be spending more and more time behind our desks, completing paperwork and bureaucratic tasks.
3. Not enough time with patients
Ironically, we work long hours yet don't feel we have enough time with each patient.
Our time and relationship with our patients is the most rewarding aspect of being a physician. So, it is not surprising that a lack of it contributes to physician burnout.
4. Patient Demand
Patients want convenience and easy access to care. So now we're competing with retail clinics and on-demand care options. The pressure to compete is contributing to physician burnout.
5. Constant worry about your online reputation
Everything is online now, and customers love to shout about their bad experiences. We are constantly worried about our online reputation and how it will impact our practice.
What solutions are available for physician burnout?
Many people like to make recommendations to reduce your workload.
Delegate the administration, for example, or use automation to run things more efficiently.
Whilst that can help, I think it is more effective to reduce our hours and stress in the long term and create a work-life balance that will fulfil us.
Finding ways to supplement your income that allow you to be more flexible with your time and doing enjoyable work that doesn't require a ton of administration or desk work is a far better solution in the long run.
If you are reading this and feel that you may be suffering from physician burnout or want to avoid reaching that point, please get in touch to find out how you can start taking action now.