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Week 2 Benefits of Purpose in Career

We started our Purpose-in-Career series last week by addressing an emerging theme among some early-career physicians - “I’m not wanting professional fulfillment.” Hopefully, I created enough wiggle room to consider the middle ground for those individuals. This week we will review the benefits of revisiting or redefining your “why” behind your career choice.

 

Crafting and reflecting on your motivation for being a physician is quite empowering. As usual, I...

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Finding and Defining Purpose in Career and Other Perspectives

Getting back in touch with your previous reasons for choosing medicine and/or discovering new motivations can be a powerful tool to improve your professional fulfillment. Before I unpack all the amazingness that can come from crafting an individual purpose statement for your career, I want to take this week to relay a side-note observation.

 

I’ve noticed an emerging trend involving a small percentage of early-career physicians having an adverse reaction to phrases such as...

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Psychological Fitness Foundations, Part 8 - Competence

This week, we conclude our series of the three foundational ingredients that support physicians’ psychological health. We camped out on Autonomy for five weeks, then covered Relatedness last week. This week we focus on Competence.

 

(I hope no one is disappointed that I will NOT be taking on the demonstration of competencies to specialty boards, governmental stakeholders, hospital organizations, patients, and other external entities. That controversial topic is beyond the...

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Psychological Fitness Foundations, Part 7 - Relatedness

This week, we are finally moving on in our series to the second key component for physicians' psychological health. Relatedness - a sense of belonging and connection - is critical, not only in team relations but in your personal mental fitness. Brené Brown has described belonging as the feeling of security and support when there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion, and identity. It is connected to positive, lasting, and significant interpersonal relationships.

 

Relatedness...

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Psychological Fitness Foundations, Part 6 - Autonomy in Training

We are finally in the last chapter of autonomy as one of three key underpinnings of psychological fitness for physicians – autonomy, relatedness, and competence. This week, I will attempt to tackle – imperfectly so – the unique situation of autonomy for residents and fellows. After all, trainees are not different in what supports their psychological health than attendings.

 

Autonomy of task/technique (i.e., supervision): Most discussions about autonomy for trainees...

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Psychological Fitness Foundations, Part 5 - Autonomy of Team

Continuing our series on psychological foundations for physician mental fitness (autonomy, connectedness, and competence), we are rounding out the final domain of physician autonomy this week – Team. Interestingly, over the past two weeks, many of my examples demonstrated ideas for autonomy of time, task, and technique involving team. Teamwork is interwoven into medicine, so it makes sense that it would impact the other three arenas.

 

There are top-down organizations that...

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Psychological Fitness Foundations, Part 4 - Autonomy of Tasks/Techniques

We continue to explore the foundational needs for psychological fitness – autonomy, connectedness, and competence. Autonomy has four important domains: time, tasks, techniques, and team. We covered time last week. This week, we will reflect on the tasks and techniques.

 

Tasks/Techniques. Depending on the setting practiced in (academic, hospital, rural full-spectrum, community outpatient, etc.), there are numerous tasks we each perform. I'm sure there are places where the...

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Psychological Fitness Foundations, Part 3 - Autonomy of Time

We are in a series exploring the three foundational needs for physicians to optimize their psychological fitness – autonomy, connectedness, and competence. This week, we will reflect on time, the first of four domains within autonomy for physicians - Time, Tasks, Team, and Techniques. I'll also highlight a fifth "T" – Thoughts/Mindset within each facet as we unpack them.

 

Time. There is great variety in the amount of autonomy given to physicians. Many residents and employed...

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Psychological Fitness Foundations, Part 2 - Autonomy

This month, we focus on the three basics of psychological well-being that improve vitality, motivation, and performance – Autonomy, Relatedness, and Competence.

Last week, I gave an overview of my perspective of autonomy in medicine. Today we will take a deeper look.

 

The psychological definition of autonomy is the capacity to make an "informed, uncoerced decision." It involves the individual's ability to participate in an aligning manner willingly. From a social science...

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Psychological Fitness Foundations, Part 1

We talked about getting back to the self-care basics a few months back. Specifically, we focused on three basic physical needs and implementing those as busy healthcare professionals. This month, we will focus on three basic psychological needs for mental and emotional fitness. These are autonomy, connectedness, and competence.

 

Developing these assets leads to psychological growth and true mental fitness. We know sleep, good nutrition, and movement are essential for physical health for...

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