Thursday, December 20, 2012

6 Tips to Get Inspired for Burnt Out MDs

palm springs

So, how can you get inspired if you're burnt and crispy?

1. Change your job. Go academic if you're a community doc or vice versa.  Work locums tenens in Australia or New Zealand.

2. Take some time off to recharge. Relax in your favorite country. Maybe someplace where you're currency will stretch much further.

3. Add to your expertise. EMS, U/S, Critical care, or whatever niche you choose

4. Be the change at work.  Try to associate with positive people and avoid negative people.

5. Remember your purpose in being a doctor.  Dig out the files and re-read your medical school application essay, residency program essay, and even college essay.

6. Consider a life coach. Three MD life coaches to check out are: Dr. Heather Fork, Dr. Philippa Kennealy, and Dr. Michelle Mudge-Riley.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

5 Stages of Physician Burnout

I was reading Dr. Graham Walker's article, Operation Burnout. It made me ponder, why do nearly 70% of emergency physicians feel burnt out?  Even more concerning, ER docs also have the highest burnout rate of ALL specialties.

Burnout is contagious. It's like MRSA and should be called a "staff infection" because it has a tendency to spread.
Ruptured MRSA abscess (via Wikimedia)
Haven't you noticed that when negative people are around you, it has a tendency to bring your energy down as well?

Jerry Edelwich, author of Burnout, writes that there are 5 stages of burnout:

1. Enthusiasm - When you first start the new position, you are super excited and everything is fresh.

2. Stagnation - Things become routine and everything becomes boring.

3. Frustration - By now, the new car smell has worn off and you see the imperfections. The frustration builds at work.

4. Apathy - It feels like you have no power to change anything, and you decide to go with the flow. The longer you stay in this stage, the harder it is to get out.

5. Inspiration - If you're able to get out of apathy, then you realize you can change or change your environment.

Have the courage to be happy and inspired.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

20 Sacred Rules for Success

  1. Ask
  2. Ask again
  3. Ask again
  4. Ask again
  5. Ask again
  6. Ask again
  7. Ask again
  8. Ask again
  9. Ask again
  10. Ask again
  11. Ask again
  12. Ask again
  13. Ask again
  14. Ask again
  15. Ask again
  16. Ask again
  17. Ask again
  18. Ask again
  19. Ask again
  20. Ask again

Monday, December 10, 2012

10 Tips For Med Students Going Into EM

1.  Join AAEM, EMRA, and ACEP. Free or very inexpensive for medical students.

2.  Go to the annual meetings. AAEM is this Feb, 2013 and in Las Vegas. ACEP is this Oct. 2013 and in Seattle. Attend the medical student components of both conferences.

3.  Get honors in your emergency medicine clerkship.

4.  If you are committed to one program, do an away rotation there.

5.  Check out and listen to these 3 lectures to start:

6.  Go to ACEP's leadership & advocacy conference in May 2013.

7.  Score well on Step 1.

8.  Get a strong letter of reference from at least one emergency physician.

9.  Identify a niche in EM (Ultrasound, EMS, Pediatrics, Hyperbaric, EKGs, Social Media)

10. Seek balance in career, life, health, family, and fun.

What tips do you have?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

If I could live my life again...

If I could live again my life,
In the next – I’ll try,
- to make more mistakes,
I won’t try to be so perfect,
I’ll be more relaxed,
I’ll be more full – than I am now,
In fact, I’ll take fewer things seriously,
I’ll be less hygienic,
I’ll take more risks,
I’ll take more trips,
I’ll watch more sunsets,
I’ll climb more mountains,
I’ll swim more rivers,
I’ll go to more places – I’ve never been,
I’ll eat more ice creams and less lima beans,
I’ll have more real problems – and less imaginary ones,
I was one of those people who live
prudent and prolific lives -
each minute of his life,
Of course that I had moments of joy – but,
if I could go back I’ll try to have only good moments,
If you don’t know – that’s what life is made of,
Don’t lose the now!
I was one of those who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer,
without a hot-water bottle,
and without an umbrella and without a parachute,
If I could live again – I will travel light,
If I could live again – I’ll try to work bare feet
at the beginning of spring till the end of autumn,
I’ll ride more carts,
I’ll watch more sunrises and play with more children,
If I have the life to live – but now I am 85,
- and I know that I am dying …

Attributed to Jorge Luis Borges