25 June 2010, by tpotisk
Doctors frustrated? With what?
Dr Tom Potisk on a recent hike through a village in Tuscany, Italy
You would think that with the great income, rewarding work of healing people, prestige, education, intelligence, and ego, doctors should be ecstatically exuberant, right?
Doctors are under more pressure and have more responsibilities than never before. If it’s not the malpractice risk, it’s the cost of running a practice, the staff management, the marketing, the paperwork, the insurance payment cut-backs, etc, etc.
And unfortunately, it’s not looking any brighter in the future. The jury is still out on just what exactly the new Health Care Reform bill will mean for most people, but I’d be willing to bet that for doctors, it will amount to higher patient loads, less income, and more paperwork. Sorry docs!
So what’s a doc to do? Quit? Let’s hope not, we need you guys and gals.
I have some better answers. In fact I wrote the book on the subject and it’s called Reclaim the Joy of Practice- An Advanced Guide for Advancing Doctors. I also provide lectures on the topic to groups of doctors. you can buy the book by clicking here.
You see, I’m a doctor too, and have been for over 25 years. From the start, I recognized the challenges and refused to beat by them. So, I started a journey to find the answers to attaining and maintaining more joy as a doctor. I discovered some incredible things, not from going to seminars, not from books on the subject; no, I learned from both the school of hard knocks and from seeking out and then following doctors that have a lot of joy.
Believe it or not, there really are some doctors that are ecstatically exuberant, even with the same challenges and frustrations that all doctors face.
Dr Tom Potisk receiving his Chiropractor of the Year award
So doc, you need to do something about your frustrations. You don’t have to suffer. And more importantly, doing something to gain more joy will benefit your patients, your family and your practice overall. I can guarantee you this, they all want you to be happy.
Here are 2 items of good news: 1)Your frustrations are not entirely your fault; you just have not been given the proper solutions, 2) It’s not that hard to get the joy you want and should have.
Here are a few words from some delighted doctors:
“Dr. Tom Potisk‘s program was fantastic! I laughed, I cried, and I went back to my practice with a new, deeper sense of dedication and confidence. All DCs need to hear his message!” – Dr. Donna Stackpool, Lake Geneva WI
“Reclaim the Joy of Practice was an amazing presentation! Dr. Potisk made the evening fun and enlightening with great tips on how to stay happy and truly enjoy Chiropractic. I loved the history references with BJ. It was a great reminder of how generations past fought for Chiropractic and how we need to honor them and the profession AND continue the passion. Thanks Dr. Potisk for lighting the fire again!” – Tara Gill DC, Delevan WI
” After 36 years in practice, I’ve heard dozens of great speakers. Last night Dr. Tom Potisk gave one of the most stirring and compassionate presentations I’ve ever experienced. I left the room inspired and with a new sense of dedication to this great profession.” – Jerry Zelm DC, Oconomowoc WI
Hey doc, what are you waiting for?
By the way, have you seen my other website/blogs?
Categories: burnout, frustration, practicegrowth
7 June 2010, by tpotisk
Doctors should be and need to be happy. Patients deserve nothing less.
I just returned from a 10 day trip of hiking, biking, and eating my way thru Rome, Italy and Tuscany. Now my feet ache but my tummy is happy! LOL.
Dr Tom Potisk in front of Castle Santi Angelo in Rome Italy
I saw and experienced lots of really cool things like The Vatican, The Pantheon, The Roman Forum, The Roman Catacombs, Trevi Fountain, The Coliseum and spent a few days at an authentic ancient Tuscan farm called Agriturismo Cerreto (great place) near the ancient hill top towns of Pienza and Montelpulciano. I even hiked to a steaming natural hot spring in the Tuscany mountains called Terme San Fellipo and soaked in it – ahhhhhh!!!!
Dr Tom Potisk in natural hot spring in mountains of Tuscany, Italy
Don’t worry, I always wear my swim suit! LOL.
My many trips like this, which are really adventure vacations, are some of the reasons my friends call me The Vacation Expert. What they mean by this is not about my ability to go to cool places, they mean I’m an expert at getting away frequently and efficiently so it does not harm my practice. These “off the beaten path” trips are another reason I’m known as the “down to earth” doctor.
I’ve observed, from my experiences in helping doctors, and from my own 25 years of running a busy practice, that most doctors need more rest. They need to get better at disconnecting from the demands of their responsibilities both short term and long term. Are you feeling better already? LOL.
Just how long should doctors disconnect? It varies among individuals but on average, doctors need to disconnect short term for a minimum of 30 minutes a day by meditating, praying, or just vegging out in a quiet undisturbed place. And the long term? Doctors need to disconnect long enough to feel the desire to return to their normal duties. This may be several days at a time, several times per yea,r or for those close to burnout it may be several weeks or even months. On average, I needed and took 6-10 weeks off per year.
“But my practice and my patients?” you’ll probably ask. Well I’m happy to report that there is a 5 step procedure I came up with that allows a doctor to take lots of time off with little or no negative impact to their practice. This is called Becoming a Vacation Expert and you can read about it in my book called Reclaim the Joy of Practice – An Advanced Guide for Advancing Doctors. Oh yeah, and there is a lot of other great stuff in there too, more than 50 others in fact, all designed to make a doctor more joyful.
You see, the ultimate goal is better service to patients, and doctors who are well rested can give better service. The patients want their doctors to be joy-filled.
So doc, wake up to the message in front of you carried by every patient – that life is awfully short and precious. It’s okay to take optimum care of yourself by getting adequate rest, so you can then take optimum care of your patients.
When was the last time you felt fully rested?
By the way, have you seen my other blog sites?
For the general public: http://www.wholehealthhealing.com and http://thedowntoearthdoctor.com
Categories: burnout, burnout/stress, Health, practicegrowth, vacations
18 April 2010, by tpotisk
Doctors get professional burnout frequently. They are under more stress and carry more responsibility than ever before. Left uncontrolled, the consequences build logarithmically, causing health problems and then even death, perhaps through suicide, in some instances.
- Watch kids to learn about joy
Being a health care provider can and should be very rewarding. But the rewards are deceiving. If one’s focus is on money and other materialism, long term joy will always be lacking. This concept can be applied to almost anything in life, whether you’re talking about marriage, career, business, and even raising children. It comes down to how you define success.
In regards to raising children, read this article I wrote called Stress Management: How do you define success?
But the focus of this article is on doctors, a vital component of society’s well being. We need you docs!
Here is a list of potential signs of burnout:
Can’t wait to get done seeing patients/ watching the clock.
Difficulty fully listening to patients, interrupting them.
Contemplating switching careers.
Viewing patients as problems instead of people with problems.
No sense of humor.
Lack of exercise, tired frequently, low energy
Poor eating habits, craving carbohydrates
This is a partial list of general early indicators. Certainly there can be numerous reasons for any of these problems. But I urge doctors to take action because burnout is dangerous. And besides, a doctor can’t provide optimum care to patients with any of those symptoms. Taking time off is part of the solution, but it’s difficult for doctors because of the demands of patients. (If you have not already done so, register on the sidebar of this website and receive my free report: How to take and enjoy more vacations from practice) .
I wrote an excellent protocol for relaxation, both mentally and physically, that will also help you. You can find it in my book Whole Health Healing.
Here is an excerpt from an article in American Association of Family Physicians, June 1999
“From the first day of medical school onward, you’ve most likely felt behind. Practicing medicine can be like racing through life on a treadmill that’s always picking up speed. Exhausted, many physicians begin to question whether they can keep up the pace. But most feel forced to continue on the treadmill, regardless of the personal toll, because of commitments they’ve made. First they work to pay off medical school loans. Then they work so they can afford the expensive lifestyle they’ve created — sometimes to appease family members for their constant absences. If they don’t want their children to start professional life with the burden of debt, they may keep up a fast pace to help pay for college or professional school.”
A tremendous number of physicians have compassion fatigue; that is, they give to patients to the point where it hurts too much to give any more. Some have alienated their families.”
So that’s the prime reason I wrote the book Reclaim the Joy of Practice – An Advanced Guide for Advancing Doctors. Joy is the opposite of burnout. The book contains 130 pages of things a doctor needs to do for long term joy as a doctor.
I was blessed with tremendous success in my practice for over 25 years. And joy was a big part of that. We owe it to our patients to pursue joy.
Doctor, how do you define success and do you have joy?
I did it. You’re next!
By the way, have you seen my other popular blog sites? For the general public: http://www.wholehealthhealing.com and http://www.thedowntoearthdoctor.com
Categories: burnout, burnout/stress