How Do Some Doctors Achieve Work-Life Balance?
It is possible to achieve work-life balance as a physician. You can definitely enjoy your personal life and have an exemplary successful career as a physician too. However, unlike the previous generations, today’s work and personal life tend to inter-mingle significantly.
This should not be seen as a negative as effective time management strategies can help you get time for yourself.
Today, the concept of work-life balance is drastically different. Earlier, physicians could switch between multiple roles while today’s physicians have to manage other parts simultaneously.
Earlier, it was easier for physicians to control the amount of work they did. It was easier to shift between work and family. This way, you could enjoy your personal life with friends and family without worrying about your work, and vice versa.
However, today’s scenario is drastically different as it is nearly impossible to distinguish your personal and professional life as a physician.
As health care providers become more accessible, thanks to advances in technology and telemedicine, it prompts the health care service providers to spend a disproportionate amount of time working.
Consequently, an ‘integrated lifestyle’ sounds more feasible than trying to separate personal and professional life. Today, the aim is not to achieve a work-life balance but to try for a better blend of the two.
Making Time for Yourself
Physicians usually work 100-hour weeks, including a few nights a week at the practice or the hospital. According to time management experts, maintaining a work-life balance does not necessarily mean spending equal time on both.
Often, professionals who work long hours cannot spend quality time with their kids and spouses, citing fatigue and stress. However, this should not be an excuse instead, there is a need to push for quality time, regardless of the situation.
It could be challenging for the physician and their families but the moral responsibility of a physician lies with the patients who need their help.
Studies show that physicians find it easier to spend maximum hours at the hospital or clinic if they are passionate about helping others.
However, the stress of working long hours at a stretch tends to show its effects sooner or later. Many physicians and health care workers, who work long hours, end up developing ulcers.
You can maintain a good work-life balance by limiting the number of hours in a week you are ready to dedicate to your profession. The remaining time should be solely spent with loved ones.
Setting boundaries, such as 5-day work in a week and taking appropriate breaks during your shift are the stepping stones to achieving an ideal work-life blend. Achieving work-life balance today means being a good physician and having enough time to spend with your family.
A perfect work-life balance is subjective and means something different to each individual. Most physicians state that work-life balance is about the flexibility to enjoy life outside your chosen field.
It is normal during the earlier part of your career as a physician to give priority to your work. The focus is usually on making a solid foundation for a career in medicine initially.
However, with time, when you have a family, you need to slowly shift the priority and share it equally between your professional and personal life.
To make more time for yourself, you must be creative with your scheduling. This way, you can maximize the time you have to spend with your family.
Finding the Right Fit
Ask yourself, what does work-life balance look like for me? What do you want your schedule to look like? What do you want time for? Once you are clear about these things, it becomes easier to create a stable balance between your professional and personal life.
The best way to do this is by being clear about your motivations, emphasizing work-life balance and setting expectations that are practical and honest.
Although not every position can be formed to fit a physician’s personal requirement regarding work-life balance, many can actually be.
With the significant shortage of physicians in the country, many organizations are in a position to meet specific schedule requests. The severity of the needs and individual demands being made determine this aspect.
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