Physician Wellness

Four ways to manage stress and prevent burnout as an employed physician

Employed physicians face unique stresses in practice as they often lack autonomy and influence over business decisions.

Here are four ways to protect your well-being.

1. Stop doing it all yourself. Communicate your need for clinical and clerical support, and strive to have everyone on your team working to the full scope of their capabilities. Delegate what you can, and learn to say “no” to responsibilities that genuinely fall outside your scope or level of compensation.

2. Don’t dwell on what you cannot change. Instead, focus on what you can do. For example, you may not be able to choose your electronic health record (EHR), but perhaps you can serve on a work group to address inefficiencies.

3. Take your concerns to the proper source. Understanding the hierarchy in your organization is important. If you have concerns about your EHR or workflow but do not know who oversees those areas, you may spend a lot of time and energy complaining to people who cannot fix the problem. Learn which administrators are most receptive to hearing your input, and use them to help initiate changes.

4. Make self-care a priority. Physicians often struggle with self-care because sacrificing sleep, exercise, and outside interests is something they’ve been doing since medical school and residency. Physical, emotional, and spiritual rejuvenation is necessary to your well-being, but you must schedule it. This includes not only vacations but also weekly time for activities that are important to you. By taking care of yourself, you will be better able to take care of your patients.


Adapted from “Tackling Burnout in Employed Physicians.”

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