While the pandemic and evolving healthcare landscape are clear causes of this recent jump in burnout on an industry level, you must identify what precisely is causing it at your practice. Below are some common causes of burnout in physician-owned practices.
Physicians who lead or own a practice often work longer hours, as they are responsible for running the entire practice. They wear multiple hats, and see patients, manage staff, handle finances and administrative work, and everything in between, which can be overwhelming. With so much to do, healthcare professionals often feel there is not enough time in the workday. According to one study, doctors would need 27 hours in the workday to complete everything. This concern often results in doctors taking work home with them, literally or mentally.
Lack of control
In most cases, private practice owners have complete control over how their business runs, which can be positive. However, it also means they are fully responsible for any successes or failures. That burden of management can lead to overwhelming pressure and stress.
Running a private practice requires a significant amount of capital investment. Managing expenses can be difficult, and the pressure to keep the practice financially viable can be high.
Practices can address this issue by using more efficient or automated tools, learning to delegate to staff members or an office manager, or consciously pursuing activities unrelated to their healthcare work.
The benefits of taking a break
Taking the time to get away from your practice and have a break is one of the most effective ways to combat healthcare burnout.
Every healthcare practice is different, and not all providers believe that an extended vacation away from their practice is feasible. However, there is still value in time off whenever possible. A recent study found that 87% of US workers believe long weekends reduce their stress better than longer vacations.
There are many benefits of taking a break from the day to day at your practice.
Improved mental health
Vacations can dramatically improve mental health by reducing stress and providing much-needed relaxation. Stepping away from work for a few days and breaking up your weekly routine is a great way to allow your mind the time it needs to think about other things. Pursuing hobbies or visiting with loved ones will help provide mental clarity, increase curiosity, and refresh your perspective on your personal and professional lives.
Better physical health
Work-related stress can also affect your physical health. It can lead to a lack of sleep, poor eating habits, and general inactivity outside of work, all of which can denigrate overall well-being. Depending on what you plan to do, vacations are an excellent opportunity to increase both rest and physical activity, helping you maintain your physical health.
Research indicates that taking regular breaks increases focus and alleviates burnout. Getting away from your practice for a few days gives your mind time to recharge, refresh, and revitalize, and may lead to more creative solutions and motivation.
For most physicians who own private practices, work-life balance is often non-existent. Vacations can be instrumental in setting up a personal balance between work and leisure. This type of balance will allow doctors to be more productive and happy in both their professional and personal capacities.
We hope that you’re feeling inspired to take a long weekend or vacation. If you’re concerned about how doing so will affect your practice growth, Tebra products can help your practice establish greater efficiency and free up the time you’ll use to take a moment away and recharge. You’ll be surprised at how much energy you’ll have after taking some time off. And if the thought of shutting down for even one day still feels impossible? Start small: take an afternoon off every week or so until you can comfortably handle more days at once.