The emergence of Covid-19 last year kicked off a pandemic that heaped massive loads of stress on the shoulders of physicians and healthcare workers, causing emotional distress and contributing to burnout. Physician burnout, however, did not stem solely from the pandemic. The truth is it has always been a longstanding issue in an industry that demands a lot from its practitioners. One dangerous fact about burnout is that, although it originates within physicians, patients and outcomes are indirectly affected by it as well. This is because doctors that suffer from it are prone to making errors that potentially threaten the health, and in some instances, the lives of their patients.
Practicing in a medical environment has always been tough, so physicians must make their own wellness a priority if they want to succeed in the healthcare industry. Proper wellness always starts with eating right and exercising, but it is a commonly seen mistake to forget the importance of these two necessities. When a person fails to eat a healthy and balanced diet, it results in feelings of irritation, fatigue, and an inability to focus. The fight against physician burnout begins at the table, with a good mix of essential foods paired with enough water to stay hydrated throughout the day. This is easier said than done, as fast food is a constant temptation that seems justified due to the daily time crunch associated with medical work. Unfortunately, relying on unhealthy food will eventually take its toll on your practice.
The second part of basic wellness is getting the exercise needed to maintain a good level of physical health. This does not necessarily mean that physicians should start beefing up by doing weights in a gym (although this is perfectly fine if it works for you). Some alternate activities that help get you a good amount of exercise include joining a hula dancing club or perhaps committing to meditation and yoga as a way to push body, mind, and spirit. The benefits are even better when these activities are planned out and shared among teammates. Squeezing in a little time for social interaction is an investment in improved teamwork, which is always welcome in any workplace. By making it a habit to eat right and exercise with colleagues, you set yourself up with an optimal physical and mental foundation, as well as the best possible working environment, to help you steer clear of physician burnout.
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