How To Achieve Work Life Balance As A Physician

Work Life Balance As A Physician - World Executive Digest  | How To Achieve Work Life Balance As A Physician | Work life balance is not in the vocabulary of most physicians. In this line of work, burnout is very common as long hours with an intense workload are par for the course.

Once medical school is done and licensing exams are finished, the madness of working 24-hour shifts and being on call for the times when you aren’t in the hospital is expected.

Physicians are always looking out for their patients’ health but often put their own on the back burner. This is not good for the doctor nor for the patient. To get around this, here are some ways to take care of yourself and achieve something resembling work life balance.

Be strict about your free time

It is very tempting to be very loose about your free time. It is natural to feel responsible for your patients and colleagues. Then feeling the financial pressure from the myriad of expenses every doctor faces can create a feeling that you always have to be working to compensate. 

Try to resist when you are on your own time. Be very clear that you are unavailable and will take care of any loose ends when your time off is over.

It is important to understand that this isn’t just for your benefit. Your patients also benefit from a physician who is not exhausted and may make mistakes that can impact their health in a big way.

That time off is essential to be able to rest and be ready to face the challenges when you do get back to work.

Ask for help

When you seem like the physician who can do it all, then work will inevitably get heaped onto your shoulders. When this starts happening, go to your employer or colleagues and ask them to take some items off of your to-do list.

Don’t worry about it looking like you don’t want to do the work. You’ll work better when you can focus on tasks and it will show through the results you’ll get.

Learn to say no

Be the person that people can rely on by doing your job to the best of your ability and helping out whenever possible. Don’t be the person that is always saying yes to every demand and having it diminish your time off from work.

Setting clear boundaries is essential if you want to avoid getting burned out. If you are asked to take on an extra shift, be polite, yet firm that it is not a possibility. Make sure you don’t say you will think about it or get back to them. Set that boundary right away.


Work life balance for a physician looks a lot different than a barber. You may feel like you can finally breathe when you drop down from 100 hours per week to 80.

Yet, you really do need to try to limit how much you do work. If you feel burnout coming then make sure you take care of yourself and communicate to others that you need some downtime.