The Evolution of Work/Life Balance
Chad Saley from CompHealth asked me to discuss the challenge of work/life balance in medicine. After I had time to reflect on the question, I wrote a short essay about it. Chad also gave me the opportunity to express my thoughts in this 15-minute YouTube interview.
In 1981, when I applied for residency, raising the topic of work/life balance during an interview was the “kiss of death,” a sure way to disqualify yourself from the position. Residents were expected to devote 100% of their energies to the demands of medical training. Surgical residents joked half-seriously that the only drawback of being on-call every other night was that you missed half the cases!
How medicine has changed! Nowadays, residency program directors contort training schedules to ensure residents have “protected time” during the day and go home by 5 pm!
The Locums Solution
One growing trend for practicing physicians who need to incorporate work/life balance into their lives is working locum tenens, which provides flexible scheduling. I’ve worked locums off and on for nearly 40 years, and it’s helped me balance my passion for medicine and writing and also provided some time to develop my interest in underwater photography.
Please join us as we discuss how medical training and the practice of medicine have changed over the last 40 years, for better and worse. Please weigh in with your own experiences and comments!