Balancing The Demands of a Medical Career With Personal Life

Medical Career

Healthcare is a demanding profession, and many physicians and providers find it quite difficult to balance their professional obligations with their personal lives.

Hectic schedules and odd shifts can make it difficult to enjoy time with family and friends. An overload of work can make it hard to take time off. Stress is unavoidable, and finding time to de-stress and unwind can be a challenge.

Yet there are several ways physicians can establish the work-life balance they desire and deserve.

Here are five things that you can start doing right now to help balance the demands of your medical career with your personal life.

Set and Maintain Boundaries

One of the first steps in establishing a work-life balance is to set boundaries between the two and try to keep them as separate as you can.

While many physicians find it difficult to do, it will serve you well to resist the urge to answer calls and check emails when you’re off the clock. When you’re not physically on the job, shift your focus and energy to you as best you can.

Physicians often find themselves overworked, and many experience burnout. No matter how committed you are to advancing your career or increasing your earnings, don’t be afraid to say “no” when you already have a full plate.

Schedule and Take Time Off

Whether you’re a private practice owner with a 9 to 5 schedule or an emergency physician subject to long shifts and overnight duties, taking time off is a must.

Use every PTO day you have, no matter how busy you may be. Take long weekends and week-long vacations. Schedule days off in advance and plan what you’re going to do or take an impromptu day off to do nothing at all.

This recent study shows that 70% of doctors report that they still do some amount of work, even on vacation days. When you’re scheduled off, try your best not to do any work whatsoever. You deserve the downtime, and you should dedicate every minute of it to relaxing, unwinding, and doing whatever it is you love to do outside of medicine.

Make Time for Self-Care

Practicing self-care benefits your mental, emotional, and physical health, so plan for it in your daily/weekly schedule as you would work tasks and family obligations. Setting aside even one hour per day that’s just for you can help you establish the work-life balance you’re looking for.

There is no right or wrong way to practice self-care. For some people, it’s about unwinding in a bubble bath or getting a massage. For some, it’s about working out in the gym, practicing yoga, or taking the time to cook a healthy meal. For others, it’s about finding time to read or meditate, or pursue a hobby. 

As part of your self-care routine, carve out time to spend with family and friends. Schedule weekly date nights with your spouse. Plan family nights with your children. Meet with friends for coffee, lunch, or happy hour drinks. Building and maintaining strong personal relationships can make your time outside of work much more enjoyable.

Find an Employer That Values the Work-Life Balance

Some employers encourage and support a work-life balance much more than others. If your employer makes it difficult to set boundaries or take time off, it might be time to search for a new opportunity. 

When searching for new employment opportunities, look for employers with robust benefits packages that include a reasonable amount of PTO. Seek out opportunities that offer the type of schedule you want. Learn as much as you can about the company culture before signing an employment contract.

If you’re struggling to find the “perfect job,” consider working temporary locum tenens positions that offer more flexibility than long-term full-time jobs.

Learn Ways to Minimize Stress

It’s impossible to live a stress-free life, but the more you can reduce your stress levels, the more productive you’ll be at work, and the more you’ll be able to enjoy your downtime.

If you’re stressed about your marriage or personal relationships, work on strengthening those relationships or make time to meet with a therapist or counselor to help you through it.

If you’re stressed about your physical or mental health, visit your own doctors and put a plan in place to improve your personal health and wellness.

If you’re stressed about finances or worry about how you would sustain your lifestyle if you weren’t able to work, take measures to protect your income and assets. 

Something as simple as signing up for disability insurance can take a lot of the pressure off, as disability insurance allows you to continue to earn income even if you become too ill or injured to work. LeverageRx recommends the five best disability insurance policies for 2024 that healthcare providers should consider.

In Conclusion

Working in medicine is not easy, but as someone who takes care of others every day, it’s important to take care of yourself as well. By setting boundaries, taking time off, learning how to reduce stress, and practicing self-care, you can create the balance you need to succeed in your profession and thrive in your personal life. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top