When planning for the future, being a physician is usually a stable, rewarding career. But if you feel more like a machine and less like the physician you planned on becoming, you may be suffering from physician burnout.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of physicians and surgeons is projected to grow 3% from 2020 to 2030, which is still slower than the average for all occupations.
Despite limited employment growth, an average of 22,700 openings for physicians and surgeons are projected each year over the next decade. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force through retirement.
These stats suggest physicians will continue to have options for employment opportunities far into the future. Still, it is essential to plan so you don’t suffer from physician burnout.
Here are four areas of focus that can help you take care of yourself, which will help you continue to take care of your patients:
- Focus on health care trends and how they affect workforce planning.
Why is this important to you as a physician? As a provider, each time a nurse, doctor, or part of your team leaves the organization, it causes stress on the entire group.
It is a financial and emotional loss, and it can cause a lot of extra work for you in call coverage or patient coverage. You already spend more time than you probably want to in the office, hospital or clinic. Be a part of the planning process. Know what is going on in your industry and your facility.
- Support your well-being as well as your colleagues’.
Take time off when you need time off. Support your colleagues when they do the same thing. Research what emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, physical and spiritual wellness is and implement this into your daily life.
Supporting your well-being and your colleagues’ is shown to reduce health care turnover and physician burnout.
- Continue to plan for your future.
If your current employer does not support your future, then continue to plan and dream for what is next for you as a physician. If you see leadership in your organization continue to make changes that don’t include your ideas or you, it may be time for you to research opportunities that provide you growth or at least an opportunity for you to feel better about your input and inclusion.
You can be an excellent physician, but if your employer or the management team doesn’t recognize your significance to the health care organization, it is unlikely any of your planning or thoughts will ever make it to fruition.
- Remain positive, and remember the reason you went into your career choice in the first place.
Even though some days are better than others, being a physician is a great career that provides a much-needed service.
At the beginning of 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked physicians as having the fifth best job. This is even in the middle of a global pandemic.
If you are not in the right place right now, there are other places you can go to and grow. If you decide it’s time for a job search, be sure your decision-making process includes asking prospective employers how they see your future.