April: Work and Well-Being
Take a moment to consider how you made the decision to become a physician. Did you want to help people? Was it because you enjoy working hard in a challenging career? Were you looking for a stable career with a good income? While some of these reasons may have factored into your choice, it turns out that your personal values are likely to have initiated your interest in a medical career. On a list of top 10 values, the majority of physicians ranked benevolence—striving to provide quality care to those in need—as the highest. Among physicians, power is ranked as the least important value (Gabel, 2013).
Job satisfaction is impacted by your values as well. Physicians who ranked benevolence as an important value also report having a high level of satisfaction in their work, while those who identified power as important report being dissatisfied with the medical profession. There is an incentive to remaining true to your values. Those who work in careers that do not match their values are more susceptible to burnout.
So, what are the most important values for you now? How do your current values compare to those you had at the beginning of your career? Does your personal life and career reflect these changing values? If they are out of alignment, are there ways you may begin to make adjustments to bring them back into alignment?
Since it’s easy to allow a busy schedule to draw your focus away from practices that support your well-being, remember to continually check in with yourself. As you increase your awareness of the role your values play in your decision-making and well-being, you can set your intention to live in a manner that reflects those values that are most important to you.
Gabel, S. (2013). Demoralization in Health Professional Practice: Development, Amelioration, and Implications for Continuing Education. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 33(2), 118-126.
The Colorado Medical Society and its Expert Panel on Physician Wellness have taken on the goal of improving physician wellness and reducing burnout in 2014. A crucial partner in the effort are the experts at the Behavioral Health and Wellness Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, who will develop a toolkit over the next year specifically tailored to physicians to address the eight dimensions of wellness with a focus on stress and burnout. BHWP experts will provide monthly web posts and encourage CMS members to provide feedback to shape the development of the toolkit. Above is the fourth in the series. Log in and post your comments on this month’s feature in the space below. And go to www.cms.org/resources/category/physician-wellness to view others in the series.