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A Healthy Work/Life Balance for Clinicians

A 2017 AMA survey of 200 physicians aged 35 and younger found that 92% rated work/life balance as a top priority, yet only 65% felt they’d achieved it. In 2022, CHG Healthcare surveyed 145 physicians who had been out of residency for two to three years and found that 85% said that “work/life balance was the most important factor for physicians in choosing their first job” – a jump from 2018, when new 63% cited work-life balance as their top factor in choosing a job.

A lot has happened in the healthcare community between 2017 and 2022 (hello, COVID), so it’s perhaps not terribly surprising to see stats like this. The pursuit of wellness and work/life balance is also near and dear to our hearts at Skin, Bones, Hearts & Private Parts – after all, we literally made “Making medical meetings fun!” our slogan. But wanting it and achieving it are two different goals, and to help find a path to having that balance, we checked in with two of our longtime CME Conference speakers for their thoughts. And while Chris Hemmer, a nurse practitioner in orthopedics, joked that he’s still trying to find a balance some 25 years into practice, he knows that a better balance equates to better medical care. The effort is worth it.

Maintaining a healthy work/life balance for medical clinicians

“I’m better at it now than I was 15 years ago, and while I still have a ways to go, I know that numerous studies have noted the rate of burnout is proportional to errors in clinical practice,” he said. “Since COVID, we have seen a significant increase in demand from healthcare providers, leading to poor work-life balance and increased burnout.

“A key to a good balance is prioritization, and most healthcare providers feel a sense of loyalty to their patients and colleagues and do not want to let them down,” Hemmer said. “However, you cannot be a good rescuer if you become a victim. We must look at our lives and ask ourselves what our priorities are. Ask ourselves, ‘What brings me pleasure and joy?’ For each provider, the answer will differ, but if you want to deliver safe, effective care, you need to prioritize and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Don’t be your own victim!” 

Karen Myrick, an associate professor in the Department of Nursing at the University of Saint Joseph, specializing in orthopedics and sports medicine, and also a frequent CME Conference speaker, added, “Clinicians can achieve a happy work/life balance through prioritizing and time management. I find that often I need to plan exercise and eating healthy first, and then everything else falls into place. To that end, meal prep, planning workouts the day before, relying on your team, and delegating at work are all ways to help with this balance.”

Skin Bones CME Conferences

Hit the reset button while earning continuing medical education credits at our CME conferences, where you can travel to a vacation destination; earn CME credits with like-minded nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians; and ‘unplug’ while enjoying a new locale! Check out our upcoming Skin, Bones, Hearts & Private Parts 2023 CME Conferences and 2024 CME Conferences! At every event, the best of the medical community gathers to earn CME credits, network, and gain knowledge on dermatology, orthopedics, cardiology and emergency medicine, women’s health, pain management and pharmacology, diabetes, ER, and mental health. On-line CME courses and Virtual CME are also available so you have the option of earning CME credits online.