Physicians and Burnout

Physicians suffering from burnout is not new, but some factors causing it are.

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Burnout seems to be impacting all industries these days. However, the term burnout was coined in the early 70s by a psychologist named Herbert Freudenberger. It was used to describe what he was feeling while running his private practice and a clinic simultaneously. Quickly after Freudenberger published his findings, nurses and doctors realized it was exactly what they were experiencing. 

Today, physicians are still experiencing burnout, but some new factors are causing it. Physicians are constantly booked and now must use new technologies that aren’t necessarily speeding up what used to be paperwork. Physicians, as well as other professionals, need to follow steps to reduce their chance of experiencing burnout. Here are some tips to improve your well-being as a physician:

Take Care of Yourself

When you are continually working and concerned with the welfare of others, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself. To prevent burnout, schedule time to exercise, and take care of your health. It can be as simple as going to your favorite exercise class once a week. Just be sure you are maintaining regular activity because your body and mind will thank you for it. 

Catch Up With Loved Ones

One thing that most people struggle with is making time to spend with the ones that they love, and physicians are no different. A great way to combat burnout is to set a day and time to either call or meet with the people in your life that you wish you could spend more time with. It allows you to have something to look forward to outside of your career. Spending time doing something just for you is a great way to reduce stress. Be sure to continuously set aside time to continue to catch up with that person to ensure you never go too long without meeting up again.

Identify the Things Out of Your Control

It can be easy to become frustrated at work, especially if you work in healthcare. The key to stopping these things from causing you so much stress is to realize what is in your control. If you can change and improve the things that are the root of your stress, you should take action and make those adjustments. However, if it’s entirely out of your control, learn to not put time and energy into it. Trying to fix the unfixable could result in a feeling of helplessness that isn’t good for your mental health.  

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