Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Time management: a review for physicians

Where do physicians go when they need help with time management? Most physicians are so busy that they probably don't even have time to think about time management.

There's an old review article published in 1996 titled, "Time management: a review for physicians." Here's the abstract:
This article reviews the basic concepts and techniques of time management as they relate to a medical lifestyle. Essential tools are described to help the physician reassess and sharpen skills for handling intensifying demands and constraints of juggling patient care, research, teaching, and family responsibilities. The historical background and principles of time management for three popular "best selling" techniques are critiqued. In addition, a fourth technique, or model, of time management is introduced for physician use.
J Natl Med Assoc. 1996 September; 88(9): 581–587.  (you can view the entire article here)

Even though this article is over 10 years old, the same principles still apply today. In fact, I'd argue that life has reached a new level busyness. We live in the digital era of continuous information exchange. We're bombarded by information through the Internet, television, mobile phones, short message service (SMS) texting, and social media. How do physicians balance work and life when they're so busy?

Many physicians end up burning out because they are so busy with their clinical responsibilities. Some even choose to leave clinical medicine because they reach a point where they no longer enjoy have the responsibilities of a physician.

If you're thinking about leaving clinical medicine because you feel like you're burning out, perhaps you can find a better practice setting where you'll find a better work/life balance. Maybe you need a change in practice setting instead of a new career. Perhaps you can regain some of the lost passion behind clinical medicine. For others, they simply need to switch careers. They need an alternative option. If that's you, then I hope you'll find some useful resources here on this site. 

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