Doctors …. do you have balance in your life?
In the past, I have written about the three main areas where the State Medical Board in Ohio takes disciplinary actions against physicians: (1) for submitting false information to the Board, (2) for violating a professional boundary with a patient and (3) for issues related to drugs or alcohol (see previous post entitled, “What the Medical Board Really Cares About – Sex, Drugs and Lies”). Recently, I looked at many of the cases before the Medical Board to determine if there are similar warning signs or red flags that may have been present before a complaint is filed with the Board. What I found is that in many instances the physician had been living a life that is out of balance.
Physicians are trained to look for signs of health (or disease) in their patients, however, too often they do not look for those warning signs in themselves. I often see that the complaint with the Medical Board is just the “final straw” in a year (or years) of a physician living an unbalanced life. I find that, in many cases, physicians are overworked, overweight, stressed out, and living meaningless and angst filled lives. Many are taking medications to help them sleep and then other medications to help them get through their work days. Many eat out too often, haven’t seen the inside of a gym in ages (or ever), and are living meaningless, spiritless lives.
In terms of boundary violations, they rarely happen to physicians who are in loving, supportive marriages or relationships. Many times, a physician will find themselves immersed in a Medical Board investigation when they are also in the middle of an ugly divorce or professional partnership that has taken a turn for the worst.
As physicians, you worked hard in school to put yourself in a position where you would have choices. Choices about where you work and what type of work you would like to engage in on a daily basis. Now is the time to exercise those choices and put yourself in a work environment that you find interesting, fulfilling and enjoyable.
I recently read that in tough financial times many people start to step back from their jobs (or job searches) and consider what they can do to make their overall lives better. Many have found that by spending more time with family and friends, exercising more often, and taking “control” of their lives they have found the energy and spirit to be more successful in work or in their job searches. Despite the tough economy, gym memberships were up in 2011 and many more people participated in Weight Watchers and other programs to improve the overall quality of their lives.
Doctors … look at your lives. Are you healthy, happy and fulfilled? If not, now if the time to reclaim your life and the direction of your professional career.
As always, if you have any questions about this post or about the State Medical Board of Ohio in general, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 614-486-3909.