If I Had More Time as a Physician, I Would…
Physicians are some of the busiest professionals out there. They work tirelessly and around the clock to provide the most optimal care for their patients. In the process, many of their personal and professional goals may get put on the back burner due to lack of time. So, what are some of the things most physicians would like to do if they had the time to do them? Read on to learn more about some of the things I would do as a physician, if I had more time.
- Spend more time with my patients – An overwhelming number of physicians experience burnout in the form of being rushed in their patient encounters. One report indicates that over 54% of physicians feel rushed at least once a week. This means that they often don’t have enough time to thoroughly evaluate their patients, which limits their ability to provide the best care possible. Therefore, most doctors, including myself, would like to be able to spend more time with each individual patient, getting to know them and their health concerns, so that we can treat them holistically and as thoroughly as possible. Additionally, having more time to spend with patients may reduce the stress levels physicians would otherwise experience when being rushed between patients.
- Engage in community outreach programs – Community outreach programs are ways for physicians (especially those within primary care) to provide beneficial wellness information at a nearby library or at local events. Examples of patient education activities include promoting nutritional wellness, cardiovascular health and regular visits with their healthcare team. Physicians can also volunteer to provide free medical care at fundraiser and charity events.
- Obtain certifications and attend conferences – Continued education is vital for physicians who desire to keep up to date on the latest discoveries in medical science and provide their patients with the best care possible. Unfortunately, due to their busy schedules, many physicians make lack the time they need to take CME courses or attend conferences.
- Spend more time with my family and friends – Many physicians feel that they do not have enough time to spend with family and friends. If I had more time, I would attend more milestone events in my loved ones lives that I sometimes may miss due to my ethical obligations to patients.
- Engage in hobbies – Though this may depend on the personal preferences of the physician, many physicians feel that they do not have enough time to engage in hobbies such as travelling, cooking, and doing other things they enjoy.
- Personal wellness – Since physicians invest much of themselves in their patients, they may not give the proper attention to maintaining their own physical and mental wellness. If I had more time, I would exercise more, eat more healthfully, and engage more in activities related to my spirituality.
To ensure the betterment of the world around them, physicians are dedicated to providing the highest quality care to their patients. Our job is a rewarding yet demanding one, that makes it difficult to reach many of our goals. Nevertheless, if physicians balance their time well, they can get one step closer to accomplishing their aspirations in life.