Wednesday, 6 July 2022

How to Create a Work-Life Balance When Working in the Medical Field

Working as a medical professional is notorious for having to work long hours and being on call. This can make it hard to maintain a healthy work-life balance— but it’s not impossible to do. However, 25% of physicians work anywhere from 61 to 80 hours a week, with the average physician working 51 hours per week. So how is it possible to maintain your work-life balance while also working full-time as a medical professional?

Embrace Technology

Working as a physician doesn’t necessarily mean you’re working in a doctor’s office or hospital all day, as physicians can work in a variety of medical settings. However, new advancements in technology such as telehealth or telemedicine, can allow you to meet with patients without going into an office. Telemedicine has actually been around for a while, but it was made popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This can be very helpful if you’re wanting to spend more time with your family. Just remember to designate a space in your home for consulting with your patients via telemedicine. This will help you separate work and home life.

Take on Fewer Hours

Some healthcare professionals may have this option while others may not, but if you do, this will greatly improve your work-life balance. Taking on fewer hours can look like

reducing the number of patients you see, working from home using telemedicine technology, or simply switching from full-time to part-time.

Again, not all medical professionals will have the luxury to do this, but doctors with the most flexibility in their work schedules include:

● Family medicine physicians

● Dermatologists

● Psychiatrists

Make Some “Me Time”

It’s important for everyone, regardless of what field they work in, to manage their time and make time for themselves. This is the key to a proper work-life balance— especially for those who may not be able to make adjustments to their work schedule. Jobs require you to give a lot of your time away from yourself and your loved ones, but you can become burned out if you fail to make time for yourself.

“Me time” can look different for everyone, but it usually means taking the time to engage in activities you enjoy— which helps your mental health. You should also focus on taking care of your physical health by engaging in:

● Healthy eating habits

● Regular exercise (this can be a brisk walk)

● Healthy and consistent sleeping routines

Spending time with your family and friends is also good for your mental health, so “me time” doesn’t have to be limited to you being alone.

Consider Opening Your Own Practice

This option may work for those medical professionals who can’t adjust their schedules to take on fewer hours or take on fewer patients. Physicians and nurse practitioners are able to open their own private medical practice, and doing so allows you to create your own hours, hire the staff you want/need, and gives you the opportunity to create the work-life balance that you want.

Just keep in mind that the beginning stages of opening your own practice will take a lot of time, money, and effort, but if this is something you really want to do, then all of the upfront costs and work will be worth it.

Remind Yourself About the Work You Do

Your mindset has a huge impact on how you view your work-life balance, so remind yourself of your importance as a medical professional. Every day, you help people take better care of their health, and you make a difference in a lot of lives. You’re also a highly regarded and respected member of your community.

Also remember that you have a level of job security that not many other professions have. Many people have lost jobs or have had to change professions because of the pandemic. Physicians, on the other hand, have a broad range of knowledge that can often be translated across specialties— especially internal medicine doctors. This means that you can search open endocrinology positions, where you’ll focus on glands and hormones that control things like blood pressure and cholesterol— which many people struggle with.

Keeping a positive mindset about your job and remembering why you chose this career path is one of the first steps in achieving work-life balance. You want to make sure that you still enjoy

your work as well. Even if you truly enjoy your work and it doesn’t feel like work to you, it’s still important to make time for your family/friends and yourself outside of work.

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