Step One to Take Your Practice Back

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stressed or burned out by your practice whirlwind - here is step one to take your practice back

This is part 3 of our
Take Back Your Practice Video Training Series
Lesson 1: Lightworker vs. the Whirlwind is Here
Lesson 2: Origins of the Whirlwind and Your Way Forward is Here

The current 63% physician burnout rate is a sure sign we are losing the battle between your Lightworker mission to be a helper and a healer ... and the Whirlwind of your job.

  • Your current job description is nothing more than an expression of your employers Revenue Model.
  • The day-to-day of your practice routine was never designed to satisfy your personal Ideal Job Description.

Learn how to take your practice back.

We have taught thousands of physicians this three-step process to build a more Ideal Practice since 2010.

Here is Step One:


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In this lesson:

  • Step one to create a more Ideal Practice
  • How your Little Voice tells you the level of urgency
  • How to build your Ideal Job Description
  • How to tell the size of the Gap between where you are and where you want to be


Watch To Learn:
Building Your Ideal Practice: STEP ONE

Downloadable Audio File Is Below
LISTEN HERE - just hit the orange PLAY Button
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Stop Physician Burnout:
Building Your Ideal Practice: Step One



Hello again, Dr. Dike Drummond here from the home of in beautiful Seattle, Washington, with the third of a series of brief trainings on basically how to take your practice back.

And I want to make a point for going any further. Yes, I'm burnout coach, a lot of what we talk about on our website is about burnout. But you don't have to be burned out to benefit from what we're going to teach you now.

In the first video, we talked about the epic battle between your light worker essence, your urge to help and heal and make a difference, and the whirlwind of the modern practice of medicine, and how in that battle, we're losing. Well, how do I know that? Well, the last major national US survey of burnout rates and American doctors showed a 63% prevalence, meaning on a snapshot of the day that the survey was administered 63% of the folks who answered it were burned out. Now, I don't know about you. But if burnout is normal, it's not the mean, it's not the median, it's the mode, the most common result was burnout 63%, then I think we're losing the battle.

Now, what we did in episode two was look at the origins of the whirlwind itself. And we discovered that your whirlwind, especially if you're an employee physician, is driven by your job description. And the job description is driven by your employer's revenue model. So right now, to a certain extent, your practice, what you learned to do over the time you were in residency and fellowship, the beautiful art form that you throw into play, whenever you close the door, and you're alone with the patient and their family.

Your Practice is being held hostage by your job description, and ultimately by the revenue model of your employer. Now, is that a full blown disaster? Do you need to run away screaming right now? Well, the answer is maybe.

But let me help you position yourself on a continuum of severity, here, ready.

And the way you position yourself is, by listening to the little voice in your head.

There's actually a continuum of phrases that will commonly come into your subconscious as a little voice that will tell you where you are on the continuum of severity here, how urgent it is that you do something now.

Level one is where you say, “Man, I still like my patients, I still love being a doctor. But I really don't like this job.” So you're not necessarily burned out, but meaning your job isn't a perfect match for what you'd like to be doing with your practice. So it's perhaps time to make some changes.

The second little voice option goes like this, “I'm not sure how much longer I can keep going like this”. That's definitely got a burnout flavor to it. How much longer do you want to keep going? Feeling like this is now perhaps time for a change?

This third voice says, “What's the use? I'm really not making a difference here”. I don't know about you. But at that Lightworkers fork, what I wanted to do was be a person who made a difference to help her healer, somebody who worked with people in difficult times to make it better. So what's the use another warning sign.

The last one and the one that breaks my heart and the sign that if you want to continue to honor your lightworker choice back in the day, it is definitely time to make some changes. That little voice goes like this. “I don't know why I became a doctor in the first place”. That's a situation where spiritually, you've been separated from the purpose in your practice, you're approaching the breaking point where your spirit is broken. Not that you can still be a doctor. But the whirlwind has snapped you away from the purpose that you held in your heart back when you made the choice to become a doctor in the first place.

So maybe now is it time for change?

Do you have to be burned out? No. Why would you want to make a change now? I mean, the easiest thing to do is just keep doing what you've always done. To keep up trying to survive day to day, just grind through it put in enough time to get enough money to be able to retire.

Well let's just take a break for Second quick little reality check.

I'm 64 years old, I'm old enough to have lost both my parents, my beautiful step mom died after just a one month illness, lump in her throat one day, dead. 30 days later. Lost multiple of my college colleagues on the rugby team where I was a captain at Indiana University. I gotta tell you, it's really clear to me, you only get one shot, you only get one go-round here. And there's a phrase that I learned to live by a long time ago, you don't get what you want in life, you get what you tolerate.

Because if this practice is not worthy, worthy of your lightworker essence, then this becomes an opportunity cost. This practice is occupying your time and your energy at a time when it could be better.

Because I guarantee you one thing, it can get better, you can make changes that very quickly will turn around your experience of your practice, most likely here, but not here, we can find you a different job. And it'll make all the difference.

How do you get started?

This process is very simple, but don't let it fool you. It's incredibly powerful. And we can't go further in the Take Back Your Practice action plan, without clarity on this step.

We are going to create your IDEAL JOB DESCRIPTION.

It's best if you write it with a pen on paper, there's research to prove that that's true. So, grab a piece of paper, or your journal and write across the top of a fresh page, My Ideal Job Description and date it because if you're actually beginning a process of transformation, that moving towards a more ideal practice today is the beginning. Today's the start line. So go ahead and write it down and write down the answers to this question.

If I was in charge of my practice and design it to be perfect for me…

  • What kind of patients would you be seeing?
  • Doing what kinds of things?
  • For what kind of hours?
  • And what kind of pay
  • On what kind of team?
  • In what kind of organization?
  • Where in the world?


Are you with me? Write it all down and be patient because this isn't a 15 minute writing exercise. This takes weeks to bubble up some of these urges. Some of these processes have been in your brain ever since you chose to be a doctor in the first place. They've been stifled and stunted and obstructed. But now you get a chance to write down what you really want.

Write it down if it comes up, even if you don't know how to make it happen, even if you think that it's impossible. And it usually takes two to four weeks for this to all wake up. So keep this piece of paper your journal handy. And imagine that you might have some shame and some guilt, some fear and some tears along the way.

Write it all down.

And when you feel like you're done, please run this ideal practice description by your significant other your partner, and a colleague, your most trusted, closest clinical colleague, and ask them if they see anything that needs to be added to the list, because they've heard you talk about it and it's not there yet.

That's the only assignment for this week is to make your ideal practice description.

Everything about building a more ideal practice. Everything about your job satisfaction. Everything about the honest expression of your lightworker essence, relies on your clarity on what would be ideal for you what you would run towards. It becomes the target and everything that happens next. Now, let's see where you are right now ready.


Here's another simple little exercise it's really powerful little allow you to position yourself where you are now in relation to your ideal job description, see how much space there is between where you are and where you want to be.

This is a two circle Venn diagram I call the Physicians Venn of Happiness


Just two circles. And I want you to know that this is a circle of feelings. These circles are all about feeling, so you don't have to have a detailed ideal job description right now to be able to do this.

So one circle is how this job feels, how your current job feels.

The other circle is how you imagine your ideal job would feel how your current job feels, how your ideal job would feel.

How much overlap Does it feel like there is between those two circles right now?
20 – 40 – 60 - 80%?

What's your number?

Well, what I find is that if it's 10 – 20 – 30 - 40%, that's pretty uncomfortable, you would definitely benefit from making some changes.

If you're 60 – 70 - 80%, you're feeling pretty good.

However, whatever your number is, if you would like it to be higher, the beginning of all changes, calling things by their right name, you have to admit where it is. And whether it's 20 or 80%. If you want it to be higher, that's where we're heading. If you want it to be higher, this process will help you take it there. That's my expression of you don't have to be burned out.

This is a practice optimization process.

So work on your ideal job description. That's how you take your job your practice back from somebody else's job description, somebody else's revenue model and make it your own. So that in this life, your expression of your lightworker ethic essence can be fulfilled. And that you can live the life of meaning and purpose, making a difference that you chose at the lightworkers fork in the road.

Make the ideal job description. I'll see you in the next video and show you exactly how to march in the direction of that ideal job. Keep breathing and have a great rest of your day.




What did you learn from this lesson?



Tags: stop physician burnout