Stop Physician Burnout with a personal journal - the neuroscience of putting pen to paper

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Putting pen to paper in a personal journal is a powerful burnout prevention tool for doctors ...

- and the research says a keyboard is not a substitute for pen to paper.

The unexamined life is not worth living ~~ Socrates

The palest ink is better than the best memory ~~ Chinese proverb

This is Blog Post #289

Complete Blog Library  is Here

One of the best ways to step out of the whirlwind of your daily life is to develop the habit of journaling about your experience.

Every single time you pick up your journal you put a process in motion that supports you building a more meaningful life and and practice. Writing in your journal automatically transports you to a new perspective, outside the whirlwind of ordinary events.  You pause and reflect.

The notes in your journal come from a new level of consciousness rather than the day-to-day rat brain of survival. Problems and dilemmas can be seen much more clearly and new action steps stand out like neon lights. 

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it ~~ Einstein

It all happens so fast it is easy to miss the power of process. Let's slow things down and take a closer look.

Here are the steps to journal self-reflection:

Tags: Mindfulness, stop physician burnout


Stop Physician Burnout: Dealing Effectively with Negative Emotions

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout: Dealing Effectively with Negative Emotions

Like the layers of an onion, physician burnout is often wrapped in layers of negative emotions. In this post, let me show you a simple technique - it only takes 15 seconds - to release negative emotions as they arise and become the authentic eye of the storm in your practice day.

Peeling back the layers of the onion of bad feelings

If you find yourself overwhelmed, exhausted and out of balance with your practice -- after all your years of training and hard work, and this isn't anything like what you dreamed of back in the day ... well that recognition just feels bad.

And then you notice that the fact you feel bad about your career - well that feels bad too. 

[Related: Become the Eye of the Storm in your Practice Day]

Many physicians then begin to wonder about the source of this distressing situation. The little voice in your head might kick in by whispering:

What's wrong with you? You are a successful doctor. You have nothing to complain about. You can take this. Quit whining and get back to work. Your patients come first, dang it.

And if you do begin to take better care of yourself -- start creating a little bit of life balance and building some recharge activities into your week -- a different negative emotion often comes knocking at the door of your awareness ... GUILT.

Tags: Physician Burnout, Mindfulness


Physician Burnout and the Mechanics of Mindfulness

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Since the 1970's, studies have shown that Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an effective tool to lower the stress of the practice of medicine and prevent physician burnout.

Jon Kabat-Zinn and the pioneers at U Mass have proven that physicians who take their eight week meditation and yoga training have superior resilience skills and subsequent studies over the last 40 years have repeatedly confirmed their initial observations. 

[ see our research-proven mindfulness program for doctors ]

In reviewing this literature, three big questions come to mind for most doctors.

1)  What is mindfulness anyway?

2)  Just how does mindfulness cause its therapeutic effect?

3)  Is eight weeks of meditation training the ONLY way to be mindful at work?

Let me share my answers to these questions, coming from three different levels of experience:

Tags: Physician Burnout, Mindfulness


Become the Eye of the Storm With this Guided Meditation

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Become the Eye of the Storm With this Guided Meditation - "The Lake"

Mindfulness Based Stress Relief ( MBSR ) is the most researched and effective Physician Burnout prevention technique ... here is a shortcut to your own personal mindfulness practice. And it takes just minutes a week.

Connect with that part of you that is always calm, cool and collected no matter what is going on around you with this Guided Meditation called "The Lake".


You really can become the "Eye of the Storm" in your clinic or hospital day when you know how to use your breathing to recenter in a place that is deeper and wider than all the busy-ness that surrounds being a doctor these days.

Tags: Dike Drummond MD, Mindfulness


Prevent Physician Burnout With These Mobile Apps

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Prevent Physician Burnout with a Mobile App? … you betcha … here are my two favorites

Forget Angry Birds and other mobile apps that do a great job of helping you waste time. And set aside for now the apps that help you find information and practice clinical medicine more efficiently.

It was only a matter of time before mobile apps would be developed that can actually help you prevent physician burnout.

Here are my two favorite mobile apps to help you lower stress and create more work life balance

Tags: physician burnout prevention, Physician Burnout, prevent physician burnout, Mindfulness


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