Saturday, August 8, 2009

Maintaining a healthly work-life balance

How do you balance work and life? Many physicians have a tendency to become workaholics. I admit that I'm one of those people. It's easy to feel like you have so much on your plate that you have to work all the time. At what point do you determine that you need to reduce your workload? If you're not constantly evaluating your work-life balance, then you may quickly find that your family life has deteriorated to the point of no return. This is probably one of the major reasons why some physicians have such high divorce rates. If you're not cultivating your family life and maintaining a healthy balance outside of work, then that world outside of work may disintegrate.

So how do you balance work and life if you're a physician? Perhaps you've decided that working in the clinical setting is killing your marriage. Maybe you are still working too many hours as a physician. Are you sure that switching to a non-clinical career is going to improve things? Or will you simply turn into a corporate workaholic trying to climb the ladder or keep up with your busy workload? Perhaps you want to work from home so that you can spend more time with your family. Does that mean that you'll be working all the time? What if you have difficulty separating work from family life if you're working from home?

Over the years, I've found that people who are workaholics in the clinical setting tend to also live as workaholics in the non-clinical (or business) side of medicine. Therefore, if you're a physician and you're looking for a non-clinical job so that you can spend more time with your family, make sure you're being realistic. Perhaps you can make changes now and have a healthier work/life balance. Perhaps you don't need to transition into the non-clinical sector to attain that. Some physicians who move into the business side find that they have even less time for family life because of all the new and different types of work-related responsibilities they carry. I hope you're constantly evaluating yourself so that you can maintain a healthy work/life balance.

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