Doctors unfortunately see higher risks of burnout than most other careers. In fact, according to a Mayo Clinic study, 44 percent of doctors reported feeling at least one symptom of burnout. It can be detrimental, leaving you feeling helpless, and it can even put your practice at risk. Knowing the signs of burnout and how to avoid it as a practice owner can help you stay motivated and on track.
What Causes Practice Owner Burnout?
There are many causes of practice owner burnout. Every doctor is different but there are common factors that can be identified as reasons behind burnout.
Working Too Much
This is probably the biggest contributing factor to burnout. Spending all your energy and time at work is not necessarily the key to success. Being over-engaged with your job can lead you to feel a constant need to overwork and be involved with projects. This leads to stressful situations, and emotional exhaustion. When you work too much you will miss time with your family, friends, and won’t have the ability to do other things that you enjoy.
Having Too Many Administrative Tasks
As the practice owner it can be easy to get caught up in all the administrative tasks, but that can take away energy that you need to put into tasks that only doctors can accomplish. This can lead to things like not having enough time with patients, which is usually what most doctors say they enjoy the most about their job.
If you have the wrong employees, it can take a toll on you and your practice. Having people that aren’t excited to come into work can bring the energy down and put all your employees in a bad position. If things are always chaotic and you have little control over your practice, it can leave you feeling on-edge and out of control.
Having family responsibilities to come home to after work can add stress. Typically women doctors are still expected to take on most of the responsibility related to housework and child care. This leads to increased time pressures and fewer opportunities for self-care.
What Are The Symptoms Of Burnout?
Practice owner burnout isn’t just a small thing that you can quickly get over. It is a difficult and impactful reality that can lead to many negative consequences in all areas of your life. Knowing what the symptoms are can help you avoid burnout. Here are some symptoms associated with burnout.
Exhaustion- Feeling physically and emotionally drained which can lead to feeling down.
Lack of Motivation- When it’s harder for you to get out of bed in the morning and you don’t feel enthusiastic about the things that once made you happy.
Irritability- You may take on a more pessimistic outlook which can lead to problems in your workplace and even at home.
Detachment- Feeling disconnected.
Tiredness- Not being able to catch up on sleep and feeling drained.
Low Sense Of Professional Effectiveness- You may feel like you’re not able to perform tasks properly or run your business effectively. You can even have a lack of interest in your practice.
Health Problems- Burnout can lower your immune system making you more susceptible to illnesses like the cold, flu, and sleeping disorders.
How To Avoid Burnout
When you avoid burnout, you can save your mental health and your practice. By identifying patterns of burnout, you can more easily regain clarity on priorities, establish better boundaries, and take better care of yourself. Of course, the best way to deal with it is to prevent it from happening in the first place. While it’s not always possible to completely avoid it, you can lessen it by addressing the common causes.
Maintain A Work-Life Balance
When you manage your workload, you need to fill it with things that will make you happy. Some things that you can do to achieve work-life balance is practicing self care. This is time that you’re allowing yourself to relax and unwind. This can include exercising, reading, watching your favorite TV show, spending time with friends and family, taking vacations, or engaging in other hobbies.
Learn How To Say No
It’s not always easy, but it’s important to say no. Saying yes to too many things can hinder your ability to accomplish tasks. This can be saying no to plans when you’re tired and need time to yourself, or saying no to a conference that you’re asked to attend. The more you practice saying no and setting boundaries, the easier and more comfortable it will be.
Don’t Take On Too Many Administrative Tasks
The less administrative tasks you take on, the more time you’ll have for patients or practice-owner related tasks. In order to do this, you need to learn how to delegate. Find employees that you trust to take over the time-consuming paperwork tasks.
Seek Professional Help
As a doctor yourself, you know the importance of addressing issues and getting treatment. If you’re experiencing a lot of symptoms from burnout, it’s important to talk to a professional who can give you even more tools on how to address it. Talking with peers who you trust can alleviate stress. They can even possibly give you strategies that they’ve found to be effective in combating burnout.
Improve Practice Efficiency
If your practice is running efficiently, you won’t have to worry about over-engaging or taking on too much. A great way to make your practice run efficiently is by having the right team at your disposal. DVMelite’s Ultimate Practice Success Program will take away stress from your job and optimize the success of your practice. They will optimize your front desk with the best software on the market, handle all your marketing, provide you with strategy to grow your profits, and help you build a strong team to make everything happen. Utilizing this program will greatly help reduce burnout.