"You have to manage and maintain the other parts of yourself that are not answering all those needs from work," says Jennifer M. Taylor, MD, MPH.
In this video, Jennifer M. Taylor, MD, MPH, provides advice on how physicians can avoid burnout based on her discussion that took place at the Society of Women in Urology (SWIU) Annual Clinical Mentoring Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Taylor is an assistant professor of urology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
I think that the profession demands so much of us. Caring for patients demands so much of us. Probably the number one thing that the audience told me when I gave my talk was it's documentation and EMR and administration, all of these things. You have to pick an area that you're going to protect. If that's going to be time in your schedule to exercise, if that's going to be time in your week so that you can spend time without your phone with your family, if that's going to be allotting time in your monthly or annual calendar to do certain things that are important to you. You have to manage and maintain the other parts of yourself that are not answering all those needs from work. I think that's one of the best things I can recommend.
Personally, I grew up with singing as a huge hobby and side activity of mine. There was a long period a little bit after training where I didn't have it in my life on a regular basis. I've been able to find some avenues recently where I can participate more and perform again, and it really keeps me going. So, I protect that time to get together with my bandmates and practice and do my best in that respect.
I think remembering that you need somebody, too. You often need somebody to help you process hard experiences. Don't shy from that, because of whatever it might be, the macho or stigma or the idea that we're invincible. Those are some of the things I would recommend to somebody. Try to find ways that you can make a skill and a habit out of preserving that well-being. It will help you in your approach to your profession and your job, but it'll also help you in your approach to the people you interact with in your day-to-day, probably driving down the street dealing with traffic, all of those things.
The other thing is that we all say all of these recommendations with the understanding that there's still heavy-duty systemic issues that are going on in healthcare and around us. Those things in our institutions or organizations are not to be ignored. They're still as much a part of the challenge and the source of burnout. We don't want to create this casting the responsibility onto the individual with all of these recommendations and ideas. Although every institution and organization needs to tackle this, there are still ways you can try to live more fully and more healthily with individual strategies too.
This transcript has been edited for clarity.