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Prevent Burnout as a Physician Assistant

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So, what I’m going to talk about today is more so for personal development than it is for reviewing a medical topic per say or reviewing something for the boards because I feel like this is so important. A lot of you are, or the majority of you are, in PA school right now. So right now you’re actually studying right? You’re studying every single day, that’s your job, your job is to read, and your job is to learn. That’s fine. But you can’t sustain that life, you can’t sustain that non-stop 8-hours a day studying, you just can’t. It’s unsustainable.

So my message to you is to take time for yourself. Do something that you like to do every single day. Whether it’s an hour, two hours, 30 minutes, and it doesn’t even matter what it is. Whether it’s lifting weights, doing some cardio, yoga, meditation, it really doesn’t matter. As long as you’re taking time for yourself, that’s what important right? Ok guys, take time for yourself. You’re going to see huge benefits.

Now why is that important? How is that going to help you once you graduate and actually start to practice?  Well, if you’re so worried about studying every single day, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 7 days a week, you’re going to burn out. You’re going to burn out. And the problem is you’re doing a marathon right now, you’re not running a sprint. And what I mean by that is medicine always changes. Guidelines are always coming out, new recommendations are always coming out, and so the learning never really stops. Right? It’s something that persists lifelong.

So, if you’re in this mentality that I’m going to study 8 hours a day, 7 days a week… how are you going to do that the rest of your life? You can’t. So what ends up happening?  You start to burn out. Now you probably know a lot of preceptors, attendees, residents, that work so much that they burn out. And what have you noticed about these clinicians that tend to burn out?

They start to despise their patients. They start to hate their patients, right? They go into the office. They go into the clinic/ER whatever setting you’re doing and they get really upset. They actually start to get upset these patients are coming in to see them. Ironic, isn’t it? So what happens when they start to get upset towards their patients?

Well their patient care starts to go down, the way they handle, the way they treat their patients actually starts to become less and less right? And you’re patients can feel this. They know when you don’t want to deal with them, they know when you’re angry, and they know when you’re upset. So burnout leads to poor patient care and to be honest, it’s equally important to know how to treat your patients then it is to know how to treat your patients. If you know what I mean?

What I mean is, it’s equally important to know the medical knowledge, but it’s equally important to know how to empathize, how to console your patients, how to listen to your patients. You know a lot of people think that patients come in with a cold and they simply want their antibiotics.

That’s really not the case, if you take the time to listen, to hear your patient out, to actually explain why they don’t need the antibiotic, then the majority of your patients will leave the office completely happy, satisfied that you actually took the time out to emphasize with them, to take the time to explain things for them, right?

The only way you can do this is if you go back to my original statement and you take some time for yourself right? And it doesn’t matter what it is, like I said, it could be exercise, lifting weights, cardio, yoga, meditation, it could be reading a book that you enjoy. It doesn’t matter, just get out of that constant:”I need to study 8 hours a day” because you will burn out and it’s unsustainable. It’s simply not healthy.

So, that’s my message for you, I am my way to work right now, so I will talk to you guys on the next video. Hope you guys an amazing day guys. I will check you guys later.

Andrew