The practice of medicine often comes down to weighing tradeoffs between hoped for therapeutic benefits versus unwanted side effects. Physicians have training and experience in determining what the right balance is for each of their patients. Finding the right balance between a physician’s time and acquiring more stuff can be quite another challenge.
It is no surprise that the physicians today are being forced to work harder than ever to maintain their lifestyle. There are only so many hours in the day and EMRs are increasingly compressing the time they have available for other pursuits. Unfortunately complying with EMR requirements does not usually come with additional compensation and can lead to burnout; a pervasive feeling of never being caught up.
We will cut to the chase. Do you need more time or more stuff? Do you value the space that time offers to experience more things in life, or are you in a perpetual accumulation mode? These aren’t easy questions to answer. Here are some indicators that perhaps you may want to throttle back on your practice and create more time in your life for you.
How much undivided time do you spend with your family? When you do have time, are you too tired to really engage, and frequently fall asleep on the couch? Do you justify your inaccessibility with a lavish vacation or two a year?
Do you enjoy non-medical reading? Have you made the time in your life to read books? Do you have a stack of books that you have been wanting to read, but never seem to find the time?
Last but not least, let’s talk about your health. Do you have the time to exercise, to keep yourself healthy so you can derive the maximum enjoyment out of life?
If you find that you’ve got more stuff than time, it may be time to reassess your lifestyle to ensure that it is more in alignment with your present day priorities. We all have responsibilities, but we often forget about our responsibility to ourselves.
As a medical professional you know that eventually, we all run out of time. The practice of medicine often revolves around offering clients an enhanced quality of life-for however much time they have available. Perhaps now is the time for you to assess your quality of life; you’re the only one who can do that.