Physician Self Care Tools in the time of Coronavirus

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

covid19-stop-physician-burnout-self-care-thank-you-thehappymd-dike-drummondThank You and Two Powerful Self Care Tools for Physicians seeing patients this week in the Covid-19 Pandemic

Two quick and powerful tools from our coaching practice show you how to take great care of yourself between shifts - things that allow you to rise above the programming of our medical education in your hours of greatest need. AND ... 

Thank you
Thank you
Thank you!!

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What is your favorite way to relax and recharge between shifts?

This is Blog Post #323
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One thing residency teaches us all ... is how to put your head down and plow
through the work. The patient comes first - and rightfully so - with your needs
way on the back burner.

In the face of COVID-19, that training comes in handy ... but it is not
particularly healthy. It works in short bursts - and the bursts get shorter as we
get older - but not in the kind of months-long siege Coronavirus will entail.

So here at the start ... I shot you a short support video with three important
self-care tools gathered from our ten years' work with stressed and burned
out doctors.

Here is one message I want you to hear loud and clear
Two quick tools that will make a difference in your quality of life on your next
shift ... for you and your family

These are three things I know can make a solid difference for you this
weekend and in the weeks ahead:


Hello, Dr. Dike Drummond here from the home of in beautiful Seattle, Washington. That's right, the home of the COVID-19 epidemic, at least we used to be number one, New York is taken over here in March of 2020.

It's a beautiful spring, here in Seattle. Despite the news that's coming out of this top left corner of America, I have a quick shout out for everybody who's seen patients today. Anybody who's seen patients in the last week, anybody who's got a shift coming up later this week.

First of all, thank you so much for putting yourself on the line to take care of the rest of us. Thank you for honoring the commitment you made when you chose to become a lightworker. When you chose to go into medicine in the first place, the chips are down. It's all hands on deck, and we super appreciate you being there for the rest of us. So number one, thank you.

And let me give you a couple of super quick tips to counteract the programming that we picked up during our medical education. This comes from my work as a coach and a trainer to overstressed and burned out doctors.


NUMBER ONE: Celebration

Doctors tend to see only the things that are going wrong, the diseases, the symptoms, the bad stuff in the course of a patient interaction or a shift. So what I want to do is just give you this thought process as you come off your next shift…

  • Pause
    Take a breath

Look back over that 6, 8, 10, 12 hours of work that you just did just look back for just a second to a positive interaction. A difference you made for a patient

  • could have been with a touch,
  • a word,
  • an action,
  • a diagnosis,
  • a treatment

Look back for one thing remade a positive difference, something that you can celebrate, and let's celebrate it real quick

Quick fist pump, right think back to that one. interaction. Maybe it's more than one. That's awesome. Pick at least one and say, yes, that's why I do what I do.

So that's number one.



We were all taught to ignore our self-care needs to ignore our own energy and need for rest and nutrition and even using the bathroom when we came up through our residency and med school education.

So as you finish your shift today, take another second and think about, hey, what's the most important thing you can do for yourself right now? Now that you're off work, to be able to be your best when you come back to rejuvenate to fill your tanks as best possible.

  • Maybe it's go for a walk or a workout,
  • hug your kids
  • pet your dog,
  • or scratch your cat under the ear
  • Maybe it's a hot shower, change your clothes go to bed early.

The only thing I would recommend you don't consider doing as a habit when you come off shifts in stressful time … to drink drink alcohol, that's a slippery slope. And over time, it just interferes with your sleep and makes things more difficult. So what is that one thing you're going to do tonight?

Maybe it's a combination, hug your kids pet your cat, go to bed early, take really good care of yourself.


And last but not least, I want you to hear this from me.


Thank you for being a lightworker Thank you for everything you did today. And everything you've done in the past and will do in the future, To help us in our time of need, recover from an understand and be soothed by your presence in the face of disease.

Thank you for your time, your energy, your commitment. And thank you for putting yourself at risk at this time of an infectious pandemic.

  • Keep up the great work.
  • Take really good care of yourself.
  • Look for the little bright things that you can celebrate

For now, keep breathing and have a great rest of your day.



Tags: stop physician burnout, Pandemic