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Managing Personal and Professional Lifestyles.

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Title: Managing Personal and Professional Lifestyles.


1
Managing Personal and Professional Lifestyles.
  • Matthew C Dorn MSIII
  • 5-19-06
  • VCOM

2
The Dilemma
  • In an medical environment that continually asks
    physicians to know more, do more and be more, is
    it really possible to practice good medicine and
    still have something left at the end of the day
    to be a mother, father, wife, husband, partner,
    son, daughter or friend?

3
The Solution
  • YES
  • But IT TAKES SOME HARD WORK AND THOUGHT.

4
  • Unfortunately the question of balancing personal
    life with professional life is not a question
    many medical students or physicians consider
    until it is too late.
  • Female physicians and medical students are much
    more likely to identify the issues of balancing
    ones profession with their family life.
  • In one study done in Australia only 37 of the
    male medical students or residents identified
    that family issues were a major determining
    factor in career choices.

5
  • Choosing a medical discipline with controllable
    hours was once considered a career trend confined
    to women, who now make up nearly half of new,
    U.S. trained physicians.
  • But new research shows that the trend is a
    generation-wide shift in attitude toward work,
    not a gender issue.

6
So What?
  • What if I dont care to balance my personal life
    and professional life? All that stuff will work
    its self out on its own.
  • Statistics show that if one does not consider
    this question before marriage or a major life
    commitment to a partner one has a 50 greater
    chance of long term failure within that
    relationship.
  • Long term relationships provide, companionship,
    love, acceptance, encouragement, support,
    guidance, friendship, joy, and happiness.

7
Epidemiology of Marriage
  • The CDC reports the National Average Divorce
    Rate 37
  • Overall physician Divorce rate in all
    specialties 32
  • Psychiatrist 51
  • Surgeons 33
  • Internist 24
  • Pediatricians 22
  • Pathologists 22

8
Best Medical Specialties
  • A 1990 study defined 16 specialties as
    controllable -- a field that allows more personal
    free time for family or pursuits outside the
    office -- or uncontrollable, a field where there
    is little free time. Experts today still use the
    definitions when discussing work-life issues in
    medicine.
  • Controllable anesthesiology, dermatology,
    diagnostic radiology, emergency medicine,
    neurology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology,
    pathology, psychiatry
  • Uncontrollable family medicine, internal
    medicine, general surgery, obstetrics and
    gynecology, orthopedic surgery, pediatrics,
    urology

9
  • Now we know the problem what is the
    solution??....

10
Solution
  • There is no one way to do anything. Likewise
    there is no perfect way to balance personal life
    with professional life.
  • "There is no five-step plan it just takes hard
    work. Balancing your role as a parent and a
    physician is one of the most complicated issues
    in medicine right now because it gets to gender
    issues, generational issues, and how you
    construct a career that allows you to stay
    resilient, states Wayne M. Sotile, a clinical
    psychologist in Winston-Salem, N.C.

11
The Keys for Balance
  • Those in the know both physician-parents and
    industry experts agree that some keys to
    meeting the demands of balancing personal and
    professional life are
  • Assessing personal values
  • Choosing among career, family, and income demands
  • Reconsidering the physician's traditional role
  • Seeking the support of their practice partners
    and family
  • Create outside support systems

12
Assessing Personal Values
  • More Money/Prestige or more time with family?
  • Having a family means learning to set limits,
    says Jennifer Shu, a San Diego pediatrician.
  • "One main reason I can say no to extra work is
    that my husband and I made a concerted effort to
    try to live below our means."

13
Make Choices
  • Choosing among career, family, and income
    demands.
  • If you are able to make the sacrifice of a
    reduced income you will be more flexible to
    choose family over profession.

14
Build A Support Network
  • Ask for help and allow yourself to be helped.
    Get your children involved--work together as a
    team. Recruit friends, family, neighbors, bosses,
    work colleagues, etc. and ask for their support.
  • Find other parents to help or hire a nanny to
    help care for younger children. Find help such
    as housekeepers, gardeners, etc. to help with
    household tasks. Create back-up and emergency
    plans always have a contingency plan.

15
Building Support
  • The healthiest physician marriages are those in
    which the family members understand there will be
    days when the duties of being a physician will
    intrude on family time.
  • A 2001 study in the Journal of Applied Psychology
    found that incidences of depression, anxiety
    disorders, or substance abuse increased by two-
    to three-fold when work consistently interfered
    with family time. Yet, according to the study,
    which tracked nearly 3,000 men and women in
    several professions, those disorders were five to
    30 times more likely when family demands
    consistently interfered with work.

16
Let Go of Guilt
  • Guilt is one of the greatest wastes of emotional
    energy. It causes you to become immobilized in
    the present because you are dwelling on the past.
    Guilt can be very debilitating.
  • Introduce logic to help counter-balance the
    guilt, you can stay better on course.

17
Establish Limits and Boundaries
  • Boundaries are an imaginary line of protection
    that you draw around yourself. They are about
    protecting you from other people's actions.
    Determine for yourself what is acceptable and
    unacceptable behavior from other people.
  • Boundaries and limits define how you take charge
    of your time and space and get in touch with your
    feelings. They express the extent of your
    responsibilities and power and show others what
    you are willing to do or accept. Without limits
    it's difficult to say "no".
  • For example, control the time you spend
    volunteering for schools, community
    organizations, your medical specialty, and your
    practice.

18
Determine Your Own Standards
  • Get rid of the notion of being a perfectionist.
    Start by making compromises--figure out where the
    best places to make the compromises are without
    short-changing yourself, your spouse, your
    children, your patients, etc.
  • Live by your own standards rather than someone
    else's. Standards are about YOU and refer to the
    behavior and actions you are willing to hold
    yourself to.

19
Create Time for Yourself
  • Being a good parent, partner and physician means
    being good to yourself first.
  • Use your mind to make some affirmations for
    yourself. Find ways to relax, relieve tension and
    minimize stress. Taking some time off for
    yourself will not only benefit you, but it will
    benefit your family tremendously!

20
Time to do what?
  • Spend time with children
  • Spend time with spouse/partner
  • Spend time with friends/family
  • Spend time alone (exercise, recreation, hobbies)

21
Get Organized Be Efficient
  • Set priorities, work smarter not harder, delegate
    (and really let go!).
  • Examples include, creating lists and saving them
    for re-use. Keep a main calendar centrally
    located to post everyone's activities. Using car
    time to talk and taking children along when
    making hospital visits.

22
Plan Ahead
  • Getting dates for work and family obligations as
    far ahead as possible in order to make plans and
    appointments.

23
Live Close
  • Living as close as possible to work and
    children's schools will help you save time and
    energy.

24
Be Flexible
  • Forgive yourself when things don't get done.
    Understand that things change at a moment's
    notice. Be ready and willing to assume
    responsibility for any of the tasks that need to
    get done at any time.
  • Never get too comfortable, because as soon as you
    seem to get things under control, they change!

25
Enjoy Quality Family Time
  • Spend quality/focused time with your family. Give
    them your full attention. Develop rituals you can
    all look forward to.
  • Create relationships with your spouse and
    children that are not incidental but rather
    instrumental to your success.

26
Find Reliable Child Care
  • Leave your kids in capable hands. Find someone
    you feel comfortable and confident in. If you're
    feeling ambivalent about working or about leaving
    your child, etc. do not show it--your child (at
    any age) will pick right up on it.
  • Feel proud when you've found someone who fits
    into your needs. Get involved with your child's
    care providers by communicating frequently and
    observing interactions between caregiver and your
    child.

27
Make Your Own Holidays
  • As a physician you will invariably have to work
    on any and all holidays. Celebrate certain
    holidays before or after the actual day. Make a
    big deal as if it was the real holiday.
  • Include the rest of your extended family in this
    as much as possible. By doing this, the rest of
    your family does not miss you being present for
    the special day and they get to share the
    experience with you.

28
Achieve an Integrated Life
  • Keep things in perspective. Create harmony in
    your life--a mixture of work, family and friends.
  • Remember, there is no single formula for balance.
    It is a personal decision how one combines
    spouse, children, friends and career.

29
What about the dual physician household?
30
Dual Physician Households
  • 1. Set Boundaries
  • 2.Talk about work for limited time or not at all
    in evenings.
  • 3. Establish a time set aside to just listen for
    10-20 minutes.
  • 4. Dont feel guilty about bringing some work
    home just not too much.
  • 5. Decide whose career takes primary role.

31
Dual Physician Households
  • 6. Designate primary care giver.
  • 7. Make the kids proud of profession instead of
    treating the kids as 2nd class people.
  • 8. Involve kid in day whenever possible.
  • 9. Work on work at home with the rest of the
    family makes the homework a family affair.
  • 10. Be creative while being active in kids
    lives. Example If you cannot make the dance
    recital then videotape the dance recital and make
    it a big deal to watch it with your child later.
    Write a note before going in to work in morning.

32
Physician Advice
  • "Be very realistic about the fact that medicine
    is a difficult career. It takes a lot out of you
    emotionally. If you plan to have children it's so
    important to have a support structure. You need
    to have family support or good childcare." - Kay
    Durairaj, MD
  • "Trust your instincts and feelings about your
    choices. Children come when they come and you
    have to welcome them. Don't listen to people who
    say, 'Never have children during residency.' -
    Nancy Ryan Lowitt, MD

33
Final Words
  • In any medical family, there's no way to get
    around the fact that being a physician is going
    to have an impact on home and family life.
    Striking the right balance can be difficult, but
    it's not impossible.

34
References
  • Australian Medical Workforce Advisory Committee.
    Influences on participation in the Australian
    medical workforce. AMWAC report 1998.4. Sydney
    AMWAC, 1998.
  • Warde C, Allen W, Gelberg L. Physician role
    conflict and resulting career changes. Gender and
    generational differences. J Gen Intern Med 1996
    11 729-735.
  • Redling, Robert, Balancing Act Drs. Mom and Dad
    Juggle Two Tough Roles, Shands Practice
    Management 2002. http//www.shands.org/professiona
    l/ppd/practice_article.asp?ID253
  • Croasdale Myrle, Specialty selection Men, too,
    seek work-life balance, American Medical
    Association, American Medical News, Oct 5th 2005.
  • "The Controllable Lifestyle Factor and Students'
    Attitudes about Specialty Selection," Academic
    Medicine, 1990
  • Waters Mel, So many hats, so little time, Journal
    of Applied Psychology, Vol 32 1 January 2001
  • Smith R. Why are doctors so unhappy? BMJ.
    200132210731074.
  • Kassirer JP. Doctor discontent. N Engl J Med.
    199833915431545.
  • Murray A, Montgomery JE, Chang H, Rogers WH, Inui
    T, Safran DG. Doctor discontent. A comparison of
    physician satisfaction in different delivery
    system settings, 1986 and 1997. J Gen Intern Med.
    200116452459
  • CDC Divorce Statistics, 2004.

35
Thank You. Questions???
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