The Struggle for Physicians: Finding Work-Life Balance

Posted on: September 19, 2014

written by

Barton Team

With more focus than ever placed on “having it all,” devoting exactly the right time to a productive career and satisfying home life is a never-ending battle. Having a work-life balance can reduce stress levels, increase focus and concentration levels, result in higher job satisfaction, and improve health. However, a recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that physicians were almost two-times as likely to be unsatisfied with their work-life balance as those in other careers. The inability to achieve a work-life balance contributes to an alarming trend of physician burnout.

Physician burnout is described as a “pervasive healthcare problem characterized by a loss of emotional, mental, and physical energy due to continued job related stress.” One of the effects of physician burnout is “depersonalization,” or rather, “the tendency to see your work negatively, without value, or meaningless.” Such depersonalization has widespread results, including increased medical errors, lower patient satisfaction with medical care and patient compliance with treatments, and increased rates of physician substance abuse, depression, and intent to leave practice.

Most physicians enter into the medical profession to provide care to patients, to positively influence someone’s life, and to heal. However, as stated by Pauline Chen, M.D., “A significant proportion of doctors feel trapped, thwarted by the limited time they are allowed to spend with patients, stymied by the ever-changing rules set by insurers and other payers on what they can prescribe or offer as treatment and frustrated by the … numerous, newly devised administrative tasks that must also be completed on the computer.”

Reimagining the healthcare practice to provide a more controllable work-life balance can prevent burnout and keep physicians from retiring or leaving practice early. Locum tenens placements offer a number of benefits that can help to reduce the professional hassles and red tape that contributes to a large degree of burnout.

Locum tenens gives physicians the freedom and flexibility to bypass most bureaucratic and administrative duties and focus instead on patient care. Providers have the ability to choose when, where, and how they want to practice, meaning that physicians are able to adequately devote time to caring for patients, while still being able to recharge their batteries during off hours. 

For more information on how a locum tenens career can benefit you, please contact us today.

About Barton Team

We're Barton Associates, the Locum Tenens Experts. We work with thousands of hospitals, medical practices, and organizations across the United States and its territories that need talented providers for short- and long-term engagements. Inspired by the pioneering, humanitarian work of Clara Barton, the Barton Team recruits physicians, PAs, NPs, dentists and CRNAs in a wide variety of specialties, so that we can quickly place them in locum tenens assignments nationwide.

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