Doctors are some of the busiest professionals in the world. They often work long hours, see many patients, and have little time for themselves. While this can be rewarding, it can also be exhausting. Many doctors find themselves feeling burned out by their jobs. If you’re a doctor and feel like you’re struggling with burnout, here are some signs to look for.
- Feeling overwhelmed or stressed
- Lack of enthusiasm for work
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Cynicism or negative attitude towards patients, co-workers, or the medical profession in general
- Reduced satisfaction with work
- Inability to concentrate or focus on tasks
- Difficulty making decisions
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Withdrawing from friends or family
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, it’s important to reach out for help. There are many resources available to doctors struggling with burnout. You don’t have to go through this alone. Talk to your supervisor, a trusted colleague, or mental health professional. There are also organizations that can help, like the American Medical Association’s Physician Health Services.
Overcoming physicians’ reluctance to ask for help is an important goal for hospital and medical practice leaders. Several strategies can be employed to achieve this goal.
- Stand ready to offer support when a colleague shows signs of burnout.
- Remind the physician that a burnt-out doctor isn’t bad or weak.
- Let the physician know that what he/she is experiencing is temporary and treatable.
- Reassure the individual that he/she can get help without fear of negative professional repercussions.
Some practices offer physicians the services of a personal coach—sometimes a medical director or another individual with expertise in stress management.
By employing these strategies, hospital and medical practice leaders can overcome physicians’ reluctance to ask for help.
There are things you can do to fight burnout
Wondering how to fight burnout? Here are some tips:
Find a support system: Talk to your friends and family about how you’re feeling. They can offer support and understanding.
Make time for yourself: Take breaks when you need them, and make sure to schedule time for your hobbies and interests outside of work.
Get enough sleep: Burnout can worsen if you’re not getting enough rest. Make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Eat healthily: A healthy diet can help improve your energy and mood.
Exercise: Exercise releases endorphins, which can boost your mood.
Talk to someone: If you’re struggling to cope, consider talking to a therapist or counselor. They can help you develop coping mechanisms and manage stress.
If you’re experiencing any of the signs, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. With the right support, you can overcome burnout and continue to enjoy your career.
Locum tenens physicians enjoy the unique ability to set their own schedule and take time off when they need it. This can be a great way to avoid burnout and maintain a good work-life balance.