Selfless. Dedicated. Independent. Confident. Compassionate. Responsible.
Those are characteristics most consider essential for physicians and other health care professionals.
We’re learning it takes more. Realities of the health care industry today are exposing the missing skills.
Resiliency. Balance. Flexibility. Adaptability. Self-Acceptance. Mindfulness.
These things are not usually taught in medical school – or maybe any school. But they can be learned and practiced. Doing so has become critical for a health care professional’s personal well-being, as well as for business reasons.
Exhaustion and burnout lead to more than a professional’s own dissatisfaction. They result in heightened risk of medical errors, more behavioral disruption and workplace conflict, substance abuse, suicides and – the business concern – practitioners leaving their profession.
For example, every doctor who drops out of medical practice costs some health care entity $250,000 or more to replace. Few groups or institutions can afford to lose even one physician. And each physician loss exacerbates access problems for patients. This is similarly true in other health care professions as well.
The solution? Physicians and other health care professionals must attend to self-care and wellness as an ongoing process.
Let these elements of “Wellness” be a healthy start for YOU or the colleagues that you work with.
Originally published by Indiana State Medical Association’s Physician Assistance Program.
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