The One Question that Reveals Your Level of Physician Wellness

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Six Weeks to a More Satisfying Practice

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Just one question and a deep breath can give you the key metric for your personal level of physician wellness.

This question is worded to ask your heart and soul to calculate the balance between ...

  • The daily time and energy you devote to your job
  • The meaning, purpose and impact those efforts create
  • Your level of life balance
  • R.O.I. - as in "is this worth all I do - and everything I have done to get here"?

All of this is bundled into the question below:

NOTE: When I use the word "practice" below, I am referring to whatever conglomeration of roles you play in your work life. You may be pure clinical, or a combined clinical and leadership role (paid or not), or clinical and multiple leadership roles. Please use "practice" to mean your unique configuration in the questions below. 


Q: Over the last couple of months, what is your level of satisfaction with your medical career on a 0-10 scale?

0 = could not be any lower
10 = could not be any higher

  • Take a breath. Listen to your body. What is your number?
  • I encourage you to write it down (in your journal if you have one) and date it - today's date.
  • This is a snapshot in time, measuring your success in living your vision.
  • It's a big deal for you and your family. 
  • Higher is better.
  • Notice that your answer comes from a feeling. This feeling can range from triumph to agony.
  • Asking this question on a regular basis (at least once a quarter) and tracking it over time is a core action to support wellbeing, especially in physicians.


There's your metric. Would you like to go further?

It's just a number, right? If you say so. You can just note the integer and move on if you wish.

However, this is an opportunity - perhaps even a wake up call - to go deeper into both the meaning and the impact of this score at this score at this time.

Whenever you are ready, here's the next question.


When you look at your satisfaction score, what feelings come up for you?

Take another breath. Listen to your body. How does it feel that this is your number?

  • Are you patting yourself on the back, doing a little happy dance, celebrating your personal and professional victory? You have arrived at the finish line, head up, shoulders back, truly satisfied.

  • Are you "Meh" about it all. Hey, it's a job. I still make pretty good money and I am pretty good at it. Not too long until I can retire.

  • Are you wondering how you ended up here in this dead end, your little voice murmuring, "I'm not sure how long I can keep going like this", thinking about chucking it all?


Anything but the first response above can be changed for the better, depending on what you do next.


Are you ready to go one step further? Here is question #3.

Is now the right time to make some changes to hard-wire more satisfaction into your work week?

  • Optimize your practice day to get home sooner?
  • Build more life balance? 
  • Find more meaning in your patient visits and become a more effective leader so you don't have to work so hard? 


To get these new results you must take new actions

It is the only way to escape Einstein's Insanity Trap.

That's where we can help and support you.

Since 2010, we've taught over 40,000 doctors on four continents how to build more practice satisfaction and reconnect with why they chose to become a doctor in the first place. 

In that time, we discovered dozens of tools to reliably ...

  • Get home sooner
  • Create healthy boundaries and more life balance
  • Build a more ideal practice
  • Become the eye of the storm in your practice day
  • Manage your boss 
  • Become a more powerful leader

If you are ready to take back your practice, find more meaning in your work days and more balance in your life ... I have two support options for you.  You can get started right now if you wish. 

1) Home Self-Study with our Burnout Proof Online Video Library

All the tools to build a more Ideal Practice in bite-sized videos.
Watch a 6-minute video, learn a new tool, put it to use for immediate benefit
Lifetime access to the entire library - up to 36 CME Credits
Learn more and get started here

2) Our Practice Reset 6-Week Group Coaching Program 

Get home sooner and build more life balance in just six weeks
Only 20 in the class. Weekly, 2-hour group coaching sessions
46 CME Credits - Next Program Begins Monday 8-14-2023 on ZOOM
Learn more and book your seat here




Do you think this score is a valid metric for your wellbeing?
Do you believe in Einstein's Insanity Trap or is it just an abstract concept?
Where is your Satisfaction Score and how does it feel?





Tags: physician wellness