Dr. Wayne Sotile’s keynote address at the PRACTICE MANAGEMENT™ 2019 conference, The Key to Resilient Medical Organizations, applies logic and concepts about work-life balance and physician burnout that goes well beyond the healthcare and physician arenas. The self-described Cajun provided comical address he walked participants through the importance of awareness, costs, and management of workplace ambivalence.
How do we know if workplace ambivalence is prevalent and affecting your life? Dr. Sotile encourages folks to start by asking and answering two questions;
How happy are you in both love and work?
Who are you to the ones you love and work with?
Answering these questions for yourself can help you become aware of whether work place ambivalence has crept into your life. Work place ambivalence can be triggered by decreasing engagement, lowering quality, and diminishing fulfillment. This results in physicians or any professional leaving work in a poor mood and carrying over their resentment to their home life. While burnout might be over-publicized at this time it is important to understand physician burnout really does impact quality and cost in the healthcare environment.
While work-life balance is a nice concept, the way we view and define it should meet the contemporary demands and stress on physicians and physician families. Dr. Sotile encourages physicians to:
- Stop focusing on uncontrollable environmental factors that might be affecting happiness and instead focus on where you stand. A “I would be happier if…” attitude.
- Be resilient and foster a positive and engaging environment. Understand that no environment is perfect and recognize and appreciate joy when it occurs.
- Don’t just identify the issues and factors influencing workplace ambivalence, but do something about it so that you can be on your way to creating a safe space that fosters happiness and satisfaction.
While Dr. Sotile applied and covered some basic concepts that can help health systems, physicians, and healthcare organizations improve and reduce physician burnout, it is up to us as leaders in the healthcare environment to own it and achieve it. Have you thought about how to incorporate work-life balance into your anesthesia business model?