If you’re a proud member of the medical or healthcare industries, achieving real and long lasting work life balance is often easier said than done.
It’s no secret that the path to becoming a fully qualified doctor is an arduous one – years of study, on the ground training and more than their fair share of early mornings and late nights long before even commencing their career as a fully fledged medical practitioner.
However, once qualified, this commitment to their work doesn’t go away and in fact, is usually amplified. Defining what “work time” means is complex in modern medicine. Typical duties often include patient contact, administrative tasks, charting, teaching, meetings, and community outreach activities. The addition of mobile technology also means that work time can easily creep into what is supposed to be allocated as “life” time.
A recent study conducted by the Black Dog Institute showed some sobering statistics about the work life balance – or lack thereof – of junior doctors in Australia. The report found that junior doctors who worked over 55 hours per week were more than twice as likely to report common mental health disorders and suicide ideation, compared to those working 40 to 44 hours per week. In fact, the report also showed that one quarter of all junior doctors work unsafe hours, which researchers found doubled their risk of developing mental health issues and suicidal ideation.
According to Associate Professor Samuel Harvey, study co-author and Chief Psychiatrist at the Black Dog Institute, the medical industry is beginning to realise the true cost of these pressure cooker working environments.
“The pressure on junior doctors to earn their stripes by taking on long work hours has always been common, but what we now know is that this can have profound mental health impacts, with concerning implications for both the individual doctors and our broader health system.’”
So while the good news is that awareness surrounding work life balance for medical professionals is increasing, where do doctors, nurses and surgeons start if they hope to achieve it?
Five Tips On Improving Work Life Balance For Doctors
Although by no means exclusive to the medical and healthcare industries, achieving true work life balance is becoming more of a priority than ever. After all, is it not ironic for the professionals tasked with caring for the nation to forget about caring for themselves? If you know that there’s some changes that need to be actioned on your behalf but aren’t quite sure where to start, here are a few insider tips.
Work With Purpose – If you’re overtired, burnout or even depressed, it can be easy to forget as to why you got into medicine in the first place. To ensure you keep your passion and purpose alive, don’t be afraid to be selective with your workplace to ensure it lines up with your values and allows you to find meaning in the day to day stuff.
Time Is A Currency – Balancing work and life roles requires good time management skills. Effective time management involves setting both long- and short-term goals, planning and organizing, and refraining from engaging in time-wasting activities. Don’t forget that time is the most valuable of all currencies, and one that you can’t get back.
Check Your Priorities – While you no doubt have a medley of responsibilities that command your attention, be sure that they’re in the right order of priority. If you have a young family at home that you would like to see more of, then make it happen. After all, working less hours has been proven as a surefire way to reduce the risk of workplace burnout.
Learn To Say No – During life transitions, such as the completion of training, marriage, childbirth, and the death of family members, taking time to reassess and reset both work and life goals can be helpful in creating balance. Values change, and what you have always said “yes” to may no longer serve you as well as it once did.
Chase Flexibility – In 2021, your career options as a GP or a doctor in Australia are much more varied than what they once were. Forget about the 9-5 grind if it doesn’t suit your lifestyle, and instead consider your options like telehealth or locum work if you wish to chase greater flexibility, and be in charge of your own schedule.
Achieving Work Life Balance With House Call Doctor
Whether you’re looking to travel, increase your earning potential, gain experience, or even just a desire for greater job satisfaction, doctor jobs in Queensland with House Call Doctor could be the answer that you’ve been looking for.
Are you –
- An Australian or Internationally Trained Medical Graduate
- Have full registration with the Medical Board of Australia
- Have two years post graduate experience, including experience in paediatrics, accident and emergency, general medicine and surgery
If you can answer yes to all of the above, then why not consider registering your interest for doctor jobs with House Call Doctor today, and be a part of the medical revolution.