Take Care of Yourself

A new survey came out and here are the results:

The survey — involving more than 300 family medicine and internal medicine physicians as well as more than 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older — found that although 80 percent of physicians say practicing self-care is “very important” to them personally, only 57 percent practice it “often” and about one-third (36%) do so only “sometimes.”

Lack of time is the primary reason physicians say they aren’t able to practice their desired amount of self-care (72%). Other barriers include mounting job demands (59%) and burnout (25%). Additionally, almost half of physicians (45%) say family demands interfere with their ability to practice self-care, and 20 percent say they feel guilty taking time for themselves.

However, nearly all physicians (98%) believe self-care positively impacts mental health and 97 percent believe it has a positive impact on physical health. Further, about 9 in 10 physicians (96%) agree that self-care should be considered an essential part of overall health.

There a few lessons here:

  • Walk your talk. If you are a doctor and don’t take care of yourself then it will show in your work.
  • When oxygen masks are deployed on airplanes you are told to put them on yourself first before your kid or you will both die. In the same way, take care of your health first so you are more effective in taking care of the health of others.
  • Enough talk, do. Want to end burnout? Then do something about it. Fix your job or quit. Become a DPC doc if you can. Start taking care of your mental and physical health.

It’s time for a physician revolution. Are you in?

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