When the daily grind starts to feel more like going through the motions, it can be difficult to feel passionate about the work we’re doing - and passion is key in your profession as a physician. It keeps you sharp, engaged, enthusiastic and empathetic as you practice.
But constantly making rounds, seeing patients and filling out charts can become monotonous without hitting the refresh button. If predictable patterns and routines are starting to steal your spark, check out these ideas to re-center, get out of the day-to-day rut and renew the passion in your practice.
If you have experience under your belt and feel equipped to offer guidance and instruction to other providers or practitioners, finding opportunities to step up as a leader or mentor is an option to pursue. Not only could it be a great way to shake up a repetitive routine, but it could also positively impact your attitude about your profession.
Assuming a leadership position can also give you a sense of greater purpose as you provide assistance to others, as well as the opportunity to grow your own skill set. Oftentimes, a mentor will wind up learning just as much as their mentee, and there’s nothing more inspiring and affirming to our passions than mentoring individuals fueled by theirs.
Or seek mentorship
If you don’t feel like you’re in a position to offer mentorship but are looking to stretch your knowledge and skills as a provider, consider seeking out a mentor for yourself. Having a trustworthy guide can offer new tools, perspectives and insights that invigorate you to try new approaches with patients, your routine and many other aspects of the job.
Continuous learning offers the chance to grow and expand your practice - while boosting your enthusiasm about the work you do and the quality of care you provide. When looking for a mentor, seek someone you admire, respect and want to be more like as a health care professional. Most importantly, make sure it’s someone you can get excited about learning from on a day-to-day basis.
Nurture relationships with colleagues
A sense of community among practitioners and providers can be valuable for breaking up the day-to-day mundanities. Not only does it give you a group of peers to connect with about your experiences, but it can also make work life more enjoyable when you’re surrounded by others who build you up and make the little moments more meaningful.
Quality relationships with your fellow providers can also be a reminder that you’re not the only one dealing with hard patient encounters, communication challenges or other obstacles involved with being a health care worker. When the going gets tough, you’ll have a sturdy support system who has your back; when it’s good, you’ll have a team who will help you celebrate the victories - the reason why you started practicing in the first place.
Connect with your initial support group
Who has seen you all the way through your undergraduate education, medical school, residency and fellowship training? Close friends, early educators, parents or extended family?
Touching base with these individuals will likely invite questions about your current practice. Their reminiscence of your early dreams to become a physician or advanced practice provider could be a reminder of how hard you’ve worked to get where you are now, and your initial reasons to start practicing. Consider revisiting these connections; they could be the encounters you need to get back in touch with the enthusiastic and passionate pre-practice you.
When all else fails, consider relocation options
If you’ve tried switching up your schedule, taking a vacation, revisiting your connections, and you’re still feeling unmotivated or less than enthusiastic about work, consider how the culture is playing into your mindset. You may have a great position at a great organization with an appealing compensation package, but sometimes it’s a change of scenery that’s needed most.
If this is the case, think about other avenues you could explore. If you’re at a larger health system, maybe you’re interested in shaking it up and focusing on the smaller side; maybe it’s a transition from an urban health system to a rural one; or perhaps it’s just a different environment with new faces and a new feel. As a health care worker, there are a wide range of options to consider apart from the traditional roles you might expect. You won’t know unless you seek opportunities that will reignite your passion - and continue fanning the flame.