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.
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!!!!
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?