ACS Surgeon Well-Being Month: Explore Dimensions of Well-Being and Watch More Entries in The Whole Surgeon Video Series
With 61% of physicians reporting frequent having feelings of burnout in 2021,
- Physical Dimension: Muscle tension is commonly associated with stress, anxiety, and fear. Sometimes, we don't even notice how tense our muscles become. Clenched teeth. Taut shoulders. Backaches. Headaches. Consider using 5-minute Progressive Muscle Relaxation to refocus and relax.
- Spiritual Dimension: Spirituality can also offer physicians a way to step back and evaluate priorities or even a time of professional growth during stressful situations. Spiritual practices can include mindfulness, gratitude, self-awareness, and creating a personal philosophy.2 Listen to how Rohan Jeyarajah, MD, FACS, discovered spirituality in his surgical career.
- Occupational Dimension: Balancing work and life roles requires good time management skills. Consider having a "huddle" about patients before clinical hours begin, preparing electronic health record templates, making clinic checklists, outsourcing housework, batch-cooking meals, staying on top of the laundry every day, and treating yourself to takeout after long working days. Explore more tips in Work–Life Balance: Keep the Cycle Moving – Find a Purpose, Set Priorities, and Manage Time Well Then Reassess and Reset.
- Intellectual Dimension: Research shows that physicians work an average of 51.4 hours a week, with nearly 1 in 4 (23.5%) working 61–80 hours each week. After factoring in sleep, how easy is it to fit in this elusive "time outside of medicine?"3 Explore how you spend your time and budget for balance. Learn about creating a work-life budget in the article, Work–Life Balance: History, Costs, and Budgeting for Balance by Siva Raja, MD, PhD, FACS, and Sharon Stein, MD, FACS, FASCRS.
- Improving physician wellbeing. The Physicians Foundation. Available at: https://physiciansfoundation.org/physician-wellbeing/. Accessed January 10, 2022.
- Preventing physician burnout: Emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Baylor College of Medicine blog. July 17, 2019. Available at: https://blogs.bcm.edu/2019/07/17/preventing-physician-burnout-emotional-and-spiritual-wellbeing/. Accessed January 10, 2022.
- Aymes S. Is work-life balance just hype? September 20, 2020. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318087#Is-work-life-balance-just-hype? Accessed January 10, 2022.
ACS Surgeon Well-Being Month: More from "The Whole Surgeon" Video Series
At all stages of a surgical career, it is important to have pursuits outside of the workplace and the OR. Throughout ACS Well-Being Month, ACS members share what brings them joy and helps them thrive and flourish inside and outside of the OR.
On the Court, I'm Not a Surgeon
with A. J. Copeland, MD, FACS, ACS Regent