• The expectation of long work weeks is commonplace amongst those entering the field of medicine. While most physicians work between 40 and 60 hours per week, almost a quarter work . As such, it’s no surprise that physicians are faced with the very real possibility of experiencing burnout.

    As you provide care for others, it is crucial to remember to make time for self-care. Here are some methods for avoiding burnout while pursuing your career as a physician.

    Find a Healthy Outlet

    Being a care provider, especially as a frontline healthcare worker, you are regularly exposed to emotionally taxing situations. While having a sense of stoicism can be an effective way to get through the more emotionally charged cases, it can be a temporary measure. To ensure the issues do not bottle up and present later in an unhealthy manner, one must have a healthy outlet in place.

    To incorporate a healthy outlet into their daily routine, physicians must strive to practice what they advise to their patients. De-stressing activities like regular exercise, meditation, and developing a support system at home can help physicians avoid burnout caused by a buildup of emotional stress.

    Reiterate the Importance of Your Work

    As a physician, you are a highly skilled professional in the business of healing people. It is not a position to be taken lightly, nor is it one that anyone can do. When the signs of burnout–cynicism, disdain, emotional exhaustion– start to show themselves, take time to reflect upon your memorable cases.

    Think about the times you made a difference or the times you helped someone who no one else could help. Remember that your job is important and you make a difference in the lives of others. Sometimes this gentle reminder can be sufficient to reset your mindset and direct your thoughts in a more positive light.

    Cultivate your Team

    The quote “you are the average of the five people with which you spend the most time” is especially true in a work setting. Having a strong team at work can help reduce stress by creating a competent support system with which you will share your daily experiences.

    Not only will empowering your clinical team help offset burnout for you (and your coworkers) but it will help nonphysician feel valued and more engaged in their work. Take the lead on ensuring communication is open and efficient, so that team members feel empowered to have take charge of their tasks, leaving you with time to focus on your patients.

    Take Breaks

    Remember to take breaks outside of the office during the day. Schedule time for a walk, or a quick trip out to get a coffee. The world will not end if you take a five-minute break to get some air and perspective.

    In addition to taking micro-vacations throughout the day, remember to take time away from the office. Vacation time can help you feel refreshed and give you time to reconnect with friends and family members that you miss opportunities to connect with due to your highly demanding schedule.

    Pursue the Job You Want

    Perhaps the feeling of burnout is triggered by a deeper issue. Is your current position aligned with your goals and values? Is it time for a change? It might be time to redirect the course of your career and discuss your options with a recruiter. You can .

    As time passes our priorities shift. Rather than getting caught in the mindset that you’ve worked hard to get to your current position, sit down and ask yourself if that position is still where you want to be.

    The rate of was found to be a startling 51% compared to the 2013 rate of 40%. Prevent this impact from derailing your hard-earned success by taking the appropriate precautionary measures.


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