Stop Physician Burnout - the Courage to Take Better Care of Yourself

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

stop-physician-burnout-self-care-act-of-courage-massage-physicians-on-purpose-Opt150WWhen burnout forces you to reverse the bad habits of our training - normal self-care can seem like an act of courage

This is Blog Post #288

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Burnout is your destiny trying to get your attention. It's objective - wake you up and knock you onto a path with more purpose.

Most of the time, it must grind you to a state of complete exhaustion, before you will begin to challenge the habits that got you here. Those survival habits were learned in the crucible of your residency. Learning to take better care of yourself won't come easily.

And if you are lucky, burnout finally gets you to look in the mirror and ask, "Is THIS what I really want in my life and my practice?"

If you recover, better self-care will be a significant piece of your strategy. You realize you don't have to live your life like a resident. There are other options.airplaneoxygenmask_opt

  • You will learn how turn off your "the patient comes first" programming when you are not at work
  • You will find new ways to take better care of yourself - to put your mask on first
  • Rest - Nutrition - Vacations/Holidays - even a little pampering here and there - will all play a role. 

Then you run into the next obstacle. 

As soon as you start taking better care of yourself, GUILT will often rear its ugly head.


Today, one of our longstanding POP Community clients left a message in the forums. She said:

"Got another massage yesterday and almost didn’t feel guilty about it !" 

And I remembered the true definition of courage:
Courage is NOT the absence of fear
It is feeling the fear and doing it anyway

If you are fighting your way back from burnout and only now taking baby steps to address our own basic personal needs - you must be BRAVE in the face of your programming.

For a Doctor:
Self Care is not the Absence of Guilt

And in time ... the Guilt will fade and taking better care of yourself will become one of your new habits and a piece of your new normal. You are on your way to a much healthier and rewarding place. 

Schedule that Massage
Keep that Appointment
 [ It's Your Turn Now ]
> Feel the Guilt and Do It Anyway <
(Then ... Schedule Your Next One ! )



What self-care actions do you take for yourself at regular intervals?
Which ones have taught you how to let go of guilt?


Tags: stop physician burnout, physician wellbeing