As of 2018, there were nearly one million physicians in the United States alone. That number has undoubtedly grown, because the healthcare industry is in high demand.
Being a physician is one of the most rewarding positions you can take on in the healthcare industry. But, it also means that many responsibilities fall on your shoulders – not just when it comes to patient care, but everything that comes with it.
You’re also the first person in the line of fire if someone should make a complaint against your practice. So, between working long hours, having to deal with malpractice insurance, and never knowing each day what your patients will bring, it can be hard to find a healthy work-life balance.
If you’re a doctor anywhere in the world, it’s important to be able to relax and unwind when you’re at home. It’s equally important to spend time with your family and friends, and leave your work at work.
So, how can you strike a healthy work-life balance as a physician?
- Make Time for Your Family and Friends
Doctors, surgeons, nurse practitioners, and so many others in the medical field tend to work long hours. If you’ve worked a 12+ hour shift, you’re undoubtedly exhausted by the time you get home.
While getting enough rest is crucial to your wellbeing, it’s also a good idea to push through your exhaustion – at least for a short time – to spend quality time with the people you love. If your kids want to do something with you, do it. If your spouse asks you to go to dinner, make a point to do it.
You will never regret making time for the people that matter, and you’ll always find time to get a little extra sleep here and there.
- Set Boundaries
If you’re able, set boundaries when it comes to your work. If you have your own practice, having regularly-scheduled hours will keep you from staying late at the office all the time or seeing patients in the evening.
Doctors get into medicine to help people. So, it’s understandable that you want to work and help as much as possible. But, you can’t pour from an empty cup. If you get burnt out, you won’t be able to do your job effectively.
So, set boundaries for yourself and how your job impacts your daily life.
- Embrace the Small Moments
Finding a work-life balance doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take days off of work at a time. Instead, practice self-care as much as possible, whenever and wherever you can. Even if you’re on your lunch break at work, take advantage of it by going for a walk or spending an hour at your local park. It will do so much more for you than sitting in a break room or lobby.
A work-life balance looks different for everyone. But, as a physician, it’s important to find the balance that works for you. Getting burnt out at work or ignoring your loved ones at home will leave you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and could affect your health. Keep these tips in mind and start focusing on what you want your balance to look like.